The Southern Africa Trust will host a stakeholders meeting and outreach aimed at tackling unclaimed benefits for ex-miners in Malawi on September 6-7.
More than R5.7 billion is owed to former mineworkers in social security and compensation benefits. These are mineworkers who were employed in the South African mining industry and hail from South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The meeting and outreach aims to address changing practice and historical injustices with regards to recruitment of former mineworkers.
“The high number of unclaimed funds is attributed to challenges, such as limited knowledge among beneficiaries of their rights in claiming benefits, including the administrative procedures to be undertaken. Another challenge regards the limited arrangements for the portability and transfer of their benefits from South Africa to their countries,” said Christabel Phiri, Acting Executive Manager for Policy and Programmes at the Trust.
The Trust works with the Southern Africa Miners Association (SAMA), the government, South African social security and compensation institutions, unions and national ex-miners associations.
The Trust supported the first regional stakeholder dialogue which brought together national governments (from Mozambique, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland), South African social security institutions, current and former mineworkers, and civil society groups in February 2014. This was followed by a dialogue to establish the regional widows’ forum in the mining sector in October 2015 and another forum organized in April 2017. In March 2017, the Trust also launched a documentary on the plight of ex-miners to profile the issues affecting former mineworkers and dependents in accessin social security and compensation benefits.
The Trust invites the media to join stakeholders and the government for an update on the progress in the disbursing of compensation and social security funds. The first meeting will be held in Lilongwe (Kalolo) on September 6 from 2pm-5pm, and the second in Ntcheu Boma from 9am-2pm on September 7.
Presentations will be made by TEBA Limited, Malawi Ex-Miners Association, Department of Health South Africa, and the Financial Services Board