The GPAA had demanded 'the impossible' in expecting the woman to obtain proof from an employer dating back 30 years.
If it is not rectified, Salome Mukhari risks losing 11 years of her pension contributions and stands to lose about R400,000 of her pension payout when she retires.
Not even her two certificates of long service, 20 and 30 years, awarded to her by the department of social development, her employer in 2007 and 2017, would convince GPAA otherwise.
Mukhari’s nightmare started in 2015, when she approached the GPAA for an estimate of her pension benefits.
She was told her pension contributions for the first 11 years, from 1987 to 1998, could not be traced as her GPAA
pension benefit statement reflected that she only contributed from August 1998.
Her former employer, the then Gazankulu administration, could not provide her leave or service records for the “missing period” as required by the GPAA.
She stated that, at the time, they did not receive payslips monthly and that service records prior to 1994 were not accessible from Persal as the system was only introduced in 1994.
She was allocated a new Persal number when she was transferred from the Limpopo department of social development to the national department in Gauteng in August 1998, which she believed should not have happened.
The Limpopo department paid her pension contributions using a different number, but the GPAA had failed to resolve the matter since 2015, so Mukhari turned to the public protector.
The public protector found that Mukhari had indeed contributed in the period in dispute as she had provided the payslip for June 1987, which reflected pension contribution.
According to the report released by advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, acting public protector, the GPAA had demanded “the impossible” in expecting Mukhari to obtain proof from an employer dating back 30 years.
However, she said the GPAA had accepted her findings that Mukhari was a contributing member as from 2 January, 1987.
Gcaleka ordered chief executive Krishen Sukdev to start the process of recognising her pensionable service period commenced from 2 January, 1987, within 30 days of the release of the report.
Mack Lewele, GPAA spokesperson, said they would comply with the public protector’s remedial actions.
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