Th e Pa r l i a m e n t a r y Committee on Community and Social Affairs has asked Ministry of Labour to push for financial benefits of ex-miners who worked in South Africa.
Speaking yesterday when Ministry of Labour officials appeared before the committee to explain the status of the ex-miners benefits, Parliamentary Committee on Community and Social Affairs chairperson Savel Kafwafwa said the ministry should find viable ways of resolving the issue.
He said the ministry should ensure that all the ex-miners that have been complaining about not accessing their benefits after government pulled out of the The Employment Bureau of Africa (Teba) are assisted.
The withdrawal from Teba following reports of discrimination of Malawians resulted in the loss of jobs for ex-miners.
Ka f w a f wa ex p r e s s e d disappointment that out of the 33 379 ex-miners claiming benefits from South Africa, only 500 names were verified to be eligible for compensation and that 81 stand the chance of being compensated after providing proper documentation.
He said: “We have to find ways to ensure that these people are helped and they feel that their efforts are appreciated. Most of these people are old and some have lost their lives.”
Kafwafwa urged the ministry to keep engaging the South African government and ensure that more names of the ex-miners are traced and that they are compensated.
In response, Ministry of Labour Principal Secretary Dickson Chunga said he was optimistic that the country will claim benefits for ex-miners who worked in South Africa.
“We believe we are going to win the battle but there is need to keep pushing,” he said, adding that the ministry has been following up on the issue.
Chunga said so far, 500 names of ex-miners, who were under the Provident Fund, were retrieved in the miners’ records in South Africa but only 183 submitted documents.
“Of the 183 only 81 had proper supporting documents and government is pushing to claim their benefits,” he said.
Thousands of Malawians flocked to South Africa from1960s to 1980s to work in mines.
The Malawi Government facilitated the exporting of labour to South Africa under Teba