Public Protector agrees to investigate Transnet Pension maladministration
Natasha Michael, Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
1 August 2012
Following a request from the DA, the Public Protector has agreed to launch a preliminary investigation into the alleged financial mismanagement of two Transnet pension funds.
More than 70 000 pensioners belonging to the Transnet Pension Fund (TPF) and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Pension Fund (TSDBPF) are facing destitution as the poor management of the funds have resulted in minimal benefit increases (2% per annum) which do not enable them to maintain an acceptable standard of living in their old age.
The DA has been highlighting the plight of the affected Transnet pensioners across various platforms, including the budget debate for Public Enterprises in February this year and in the deliberations of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises.
In a statement earlier this week, Adv Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) criticised the DA’s decision to refer this matter to the Public Protector, implying that her office does not have a mandate to investigate this matter. It appears that the Public Protector disagrees. The letter received from Adv Thuli Madonsela’s office states that, “In terms of section 182 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 1996, the Public Protector has the power to investigate conduct in state affairs, or in the public administration in any sphere of government, that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice. After a careful assessment of the complaint, I have determined that the allegations warrant a preliminary investigation”
The DA will not respond to attempts by the FF Plus to politicise this matter. Our concern is with the pensioners whose livelihoods have been devastated by the mismanagement of Transnet’s pension fund.
The DA will continue to lead the fight for the 70 000 Transnet Pensioners to ensure after a lifetime of service, that they receive increases that will enable them to enjoy a deserved retirement. I will be awaiting the findings of the Public Protector’s investigation in this regard.