Delay in Pensions Prejudices Miners

 Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique 

The Mozambican National Social Security Institute (INSS) has denounced delays in the forwarding of pensions by the South African Rand Mutual insurance company, to Mozambicans who once worked on the South African gold mines, reports Thursday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias".

The delays are damaging the interests of the former miners and their families. The INSS said that, for instance, Rand Mutual only sent payment for 80 of the about 500 pensions due in August.

Meanwhile, the delegate of the Mozambican Labour ministry in South Africa, Pedro Taimo, said that more than 1,000 cases are pending the location of their beneficiaries in Mozambique.

He noted, however, that the problem of failing to locate the former miners or their relatives is being gradually overcome, after a series of seminars conducted by the Labour Ministry, involving district administrators and other officials who are dealing with issues related to migrant workers.

Those meetings took place in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane, where most of the miners are recruited.

"Our efforts are to locate all the beneficiaries, because when this fails, the money is returned, while the legitimate beneficiaries are still in need of the funds", said Taimo.

He explained that in the past, Rand Mutual experienced difficulties in locating the beneficiaries and, because of that, an amendment to the protocol signed between the Mozambican and the South African governments was adopted in 1997, establishing that the pensions be channeled through the INSS.

Further delays occur when, because of some mistake in writing the name of the beneficiary, the Rand Mutual cheques have to be returned for corrections.

"For its part, the INSS complains of losing lots of money in the process of returning the cheques. Now Rand Mutual wants the pensions to be channeled through "Teba" (The Employment Bureau of Africa), specialised in contracting the mine labour force. For us this is not the most correct solution, because the Mozambican state will remain a mere spectator", said Taimo.

He added "No decision has yet been taken on this matter, but as soon as INSS notified us of the delays in receiving the cheques we scheduled a meeting with the Rand Mutual management to find out what was happening".

Rand Mutual should send the Mozambican Labour delegation in South Africa a list of all the pension cheques forwarded to the INSS every month, and this institution, for its part, sends Rand Mutual, via the Labour delegation, the list of the cheques paid to beneficiaries.


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