Malawians who worked in South African mines in the 1970s will have to wait longer to claim their pensions because of the strict verification process with the Financial Board of South Africa (FBSA), The Nation has learnt.
This was revealed at a joint press conference organised by government and Ex-Miners Association of Malawi (EAM) in Lilongwe yesterday.
EAM president John Dick, who was part of a delegation that met FBSA officials in South Africa recently, said beneficiaries of the ex-miners’ Unclaimed Benefit Fund will be only those that were paid up members of Provident Funds, a voluntary contributory scheme of employers at the time.
He also said for one to get pension, they needs to follow three stages.
Explained Dick: “The first step involves filling in of preliminary forms by potential beneficiaries. The second step requires that those that matched should fill in the claim forms of auditors Alexander Forbes, while the final step requires that beneficiaries fill in a third form which has a section with an affidavit declaring that once one get their benefits, they should not claim again in the future.”
He said the funds will be paid directly into beneficiaries’ accounts such that government will not handle any of it.
In his remarks, Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila, who also visited South Africa recently for the same issues, said 53 817 preliminary forms have been filled so far by ex-miners and submitted to the administrators.
After screening, only 13 817 matched, 3 968 partially matched while 36 032 had no match. Out of those that fully matched, only 5176 completed the Alexander Forbes Form and of these only 12 ex-miners have been identified as contributors.
“We met the Financial Service Board. I bemoaned the complexity of the exercise. Unfortunately, while acknowledging that this is an ideal approach, we were told that these are established procedures to check fraud,” said Kasaila.