Pensioners destitute as firm allegedly used their pension money

Image: iStock

Image: iStock

Zamalwandle Transport Logistics Company allegedly told John Dlamini they used workers’ provident fund contributions to bail the company out of debt.

John Dlamini, who had worked for the Zamalwandle Transport Logistics Company for five years, is living in dire conditions in the rural Jameson Park near Nigel on the East Rand after the company allegedly used his and other employees’ provident fund money to bail itself out of debt.

Dlamini retired from the company in February 2018 and inquired about his retirement fund from the transport sector retirement fund administrator, Salt Employee Benefits.

According to the administrator, the fund had only received contributions from Dlamini for a year.

“The contributions of the member’s [Dlamini’s] records do not reflect contributions received for each month worked, according to the member’s payslip,” the administrator’s report stated.

Zamalwandle’s lawyer, Kirsten Eiser, said the company was aware of several complaints against it to the pension fund adjudicator by its former employees and their dependants.

“On the basis that these disputes are still pending before the adjudicator, Zamalwandle is not in a position to comment thereon.

“Zamalwandle has, however, engaged with the adjudicator to address these complaints and will be submitting a formal response in due course to the adjudicator in accordance with the adjudicator’s processes,’’ Eiser said.

‘’Zamalwandle is able to demonstrate that it has complied with all of its obligations towards its employees and denies any allegations to the contrary.

“Zamalwandle is a conscientious employer and has at all times acted in good faith and is committed to the resolution of these disputes through due process.”

However, the adjudicators’ findings on behalf of Dlamini on June 20 last year stated Zamalwandle had failed to timeously register Dlamini with the retirement fund and the company was ordered to pay Dlamini for the four-year gap, with late payment interest.

“There were determinations made by the adjudicator which were recently brought to Zamalwandle’s attention and Zamalwandle is considering them and is committed to dealing with them appropriately,” Eiser said. “The determination in respect of Mr John Dlamini, a former employee of Zamalwandle, is one of these determinations.”

Eiser did not say when the June 20, 2017 determination would happen.

Dlamini said he had asked the owner where his money was and claimed he was told the money had been used to bail out the company.

According to him, the company had used his provident fund contributions and those of many other employees to assist the business in the period August 2014 to January 2018.

Zamalwandle paid R48,000 into Dlamani’s personal account in February, 2018. However, this money was half of what he was owed – and was supposed to come through his provident fund, making the payment illegal.

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