President of ex Teba Mine workers, John Dick on Thursday accused Malawi Government of snatching their identity cards making the whole process of receiving their money almost difficult.
In a interview with Nyasa Times, Dick said government went around in different places snatching K1,000 and the Identity Cards.
This follows revelation that out of 36,000 names of ex mine workers sent to South African government, only 9,000 names have been approved to be qualified to receiving the pension benefits.
But Dick says other names were rejected because the ex miners were writing without referring on their cards.
“Had it been we did it alone the approved number of names could not be the same,” said Dick.
But in a separate interview, Minister of Labour Henry Mussa said the process of taking the IDs from the ex Miners was done in order to identify the real ex miner.
Mussa said every body after hearing that the ex miners could be paid their money could jump in and say they were ex miners.
“We have their documents and soon we will retain them,” said Mussa.
On Thursday Mussa convened a new Conference in Lilongwe where his ministry updated the nation on progress made in the identification of beneficiary ex-TEBA mineworkers who were members of the 1970 Provident Fund, now known as the Mines 1970 Unclaimed Benefits Preservation Fund.
Mussa said, Government of Malawi concluded a bilateral labour agreement with the Government of the Republic of South Africa in 1967 following which many Malawians left the country to work in South African Mines as regular or legal migrants.
In 1970, a number of Mines decided to put their workers on a social security or pension scheme and this culminated in the establishment of the 1970 Provident Fund contributed by both employer and the workers.
Mussa said membership to the scheme was voluntary at the level of the Mine as well as at the level of the individual Mineworker.
According to Mussa, some Mines did not join the scheme meaning that not every ex mine worker is entitled for the pension fund.
In 2013, authorities in South Africa renamed the money as Mines 1970 Unclaimed Benefits Preservation Fund and notified the Malawi Government of the existence of unclaimed funds in their scheme and requested Government to assist in identifying beneficiary ex-miners if there are any.
Government undertook the exercise of identifying the ex-miners through District Labour Offices by designing special form for the exercise.
Mussa said due to the fact that a good number of the ex-miners are deceased and that many may had lost their mine documents, the Ministry directed District Labour Officers to register all those who wished to have their details taken.
He said the first batch of Forms was sent to South Africa in April, 2014 containing a total of 36,835 names for verification.
According to Mussa the results of verification was that 9, 440 representing 25% supplied information fully matched that of the Fund.
“These are the ones who for now qualify to receive benefits; 2. 3,968 or 11% partially matched. For these, arrangements are under way to trace them and get more information in the hope of achieving a full match; and, 3. 23,247 or 63% did not match to the details in the database,” said Mussa.
Mussa said, some mines did not join the Fund hence it was out of the question for their workers to appear in the data base.
“Even for mines that joined the Fund, membership of individual employees to the Fund was not compulsory. Indeed, very few completed Forms had Provident Fund numbers and that some ex-miners managed to get their Provident Fund benefits before they left despite the little processing
time,” said Mussa.
Meanwhile, Mussa has directed his ministry officials to make sure that the issue is resolved with speed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :