Public Protector to launch systemic intervention into issues of pensions of ex employees of former homeland governments
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela will approach the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) in an effort to resolve issues relating pensions of former employees of the erstwhile TBVC homelands.
This follows her meeting yesterday with the Vhembe Concerned Pension Group in Bungeni near Louis Trichadt, Limpopo, where she also interacted with community members.
The group, which represents former employees of the defunct Venda government, alleged that the GEPF was denying them standard pension benefits. They have lodged a complaint of improper and prejudicial conduct against the GEPF.
“The issue of pensions from former homeland states is one of the matters that deeply concern me and for which I have decided to go for a systemic intervention,” Adv Madonsela told a stakeholder consultative forum in Polokwane today.
The Public Protector also committed to attend to the service delivery complaints raised by the community of Bungeni. These included delayed processing of applications for social grants, identity documents, Unemployed Insurance Fund, Workers’ Compensation, Legal Aid, Court Appeals and RDP houses.
Some of the government departments that account for the majority of the 1 600 complaints the Public Protector receives annually from Limpopo, such as Home Affairs and Labour brought their mobile offices to the event to assist complainants on site.
Meanwhile Adv Madonsela has welcomed a commitment from a Member of the Provincial Legislature and Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Participation and Petitions Lehlohonolo Masoga that his committee and the Legislature will support the Public Protector in executing its mandate.
A formal Memorandum of Understanding between the committee, the Public Protector and other chapter 9 and 10 Institutions will be entered into to promote collaboration for speedy and expeditious resolution of complaints.
Adv Madonsela also welcomed the promise by the Executive Mayor of Capricorn District Municipality Motalane Monakedi, who committed his municipality to provide answers when Public Protector investigators approach them.
She said her office had received a number of complaints from third parties regarding alleged tender irregularities in various municipalities across Limpopo. “I have assembled a team to undertake this task. I have also initiated talks with the Auditor General with a view to conduct a joint investigation,” she said.