Ministry of Labour says only 81 out of the 33 379 ex-miners seeking compensation from the South African government are eligible for payment once the funds are released,
Deputy Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule told Parliament in Lilongwe yesterday that her ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with their South African counterparts and that Capital Hill is just waiting for a response.
She made the remarks in a ministerial statement on the status of processing of Provident Fund Benefits due to ex-mine workers.
Among others, the claimants, who worked in South Africa, are expected to produce supporting documents to enable them to get their financial benefits.
Kamtukule said that out of the 33 379 ex-miners claiming the benefits, 500 names were verified to be eligible for compensation and that only 81 qualified to be compensated after providing the required documentation.
She said: “Let me inform this House that the beneficiaries of the fund will be those who have finalised the requirements and provided all the needed details through the Ministry of Labour.”
Kamtukule said the process of authenticating beneficiaries has been slow due to distorted information provided by the supposed beneficiaries most of whom do not have the required documents, making it hard for the process to materialise.
Dowa West member of Parliament (MP) Ephraim Kayembe (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) informed the House that from a list of beneficiaries he had seen, Dowa only has seven beneficiaries despite the district council receiving a lot of complaints from ex-miners.
In his contribution, Mzimba North MP Yeremia Chihana (Alliance for Democracy-Aford) faulted the Malawi Government.
He claimed that the ministry was not engaging the right people in South Africa and suggested that instead the Pan-African window be used to negotiate with mine owners.
In an earlier interview, chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Community and Social Affairs Savel Kafwafwa urged the ministry to keep engaging the South African government.
Thousands of Malawians flocked to South Africa from the 1960s to 1980s to work in mines.
The Malawi Government facilitated the exporting of labour to South Africa under what was termed Temporary Employment Bureaus for Africa (Teba).