TRANSNET PENSIONARISSE BEGIN LIG IN DIE TONNEL SIEN

THE SITUATION

In what is believed to be the biggest court case South Africa has ever seen, an initial 66,000 pensioners instituted a class action against Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transnet. The claim is currently estimated to be over 100 Billion Rand. When this payout succeeds it would do mayor damage to the SA Economy according to Economist, Dawie Roodt. All indications are that Transnet would settle out of Court. Transnet Chairperson Popo Molefe and the Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has been very active in cleaning Transnet up post Gupta era. Transnet needs to cleanse itself of “pervasive corruption” so it can improve efficiencies and win back public and investor confidence, its newly confirmed chairman says. Adv Anton Alberts, FF Plus Chairman is currently on a road trip communicating with pensioners all around the country and hopes to reach every possible area where pensioners reside.

THE COURT CASE

In 2013‚ the 60 000 pensioners instituted a class action against the Transport Pension Fund‚ the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transnet.

Their claim was based on a promise made to them in 1989 that they would receive the same pension benefits under a commercial entity‚ Transnet‚ as they did under the state entity that employed them until then‚ the South African Transport Services (SATS) and its two pension funds.

The promise was that the practice of annually increasing members’ pensions by at least 70% of the rate of inflation would continue. The pension funds kept the promise until 2002‚ when the funds failed to grant any pension increases beyond the minimum of 2% per year. The pensioners had calculated that the debt owed to the two pension funds stood at R80bn by March 2013.

In his judgment‚ Constitutional Court Justice Johan Froneman said the pensioners – in their particulars of claim – pleaded that the 1989 promise was made orally by the general manager of SATS. It was also made by the Minister of Transport at meetings throughout the country with some 80,000 SATS employees in May and June 1989.

He said the terms of the contract were expressly and clearly set out and so were the parties bound by those terms. “There is nothing vague and embarrassing that prevents [the pension funds and Transnet] from knowing what case they have to meet‚” Froneman said.

The case represents about 60 000 pensioners, many of whom have found themselves destitute because their Transnet pensions have not kept up with the cost of living. Today only about 44,000 pensioners are still alive.

According to a 2013 estimate by the legal team representing the pensioners, 80% were receiving less than R4 000 a month, 62% less than R2 500 a month and 45% less than R1 600 a month. Some pensioners got only R1 a month after deductions such as contributions to the Transmed Medical Fund

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FF Plus encouraged by Gordhan’s words on Transnet pensioners’ claim

The Freedom Front Plus said it was encouraged by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s response to its question about the plight of thousands of Transnet pensioners.

The approximately 40‚000 pensioners achieved a victory at the Constitutional Court last month when the court granted a go-ahead for their claim to recover billions owed to them.

The Freedom Front Plus had asked Gordhan in May 2018 to discuss a possible settlement of the class action by the pensioners‚ following the Constitutional Court judgment last month.

Speaking during the budget vote of the department on Tuesday‚ Gordhan said Transnet appeared willing to settle‚ but added that the matter was still with the courts.

“But I think what’s blocking the two sides from getting together is possibly an extravagant evaluation of what pensioners are entitled to as opposed to what might really be the case. “If all of us can encourage a realistic amount in this particular case‚ we are quite willing to bring parties together and see how we can deal with this particular story‚” Gordhan said.

The FF Plus said it considered the minister’s statements to be positive and a step in the right direction.

“The party hopes that a fair settlement will be reached soon for the sake of the approximately 40‚000 pensioners who have suffered years of poverty and misery due to the fact that the money in their pension fund was looted‚” FF Plus chairman and parliamentary spokesman on transport Anton Alberts said. Adv Alberts is of the opinion that the case should be finalised by no later than 2019. The upcoming elections in May 2019 may very well play a role as this hot potato is currently in the ANC lap.

JEFFREYS BAY VISIT

Advocate Anton Alberts met with Transnet Pensioners in Jeffreys Bay on 25 September to discuss the current status of this court case.  He also shared the history of the case with those present, a fully packed out Seashells Conference Room, whilst many other pensioners on Facebook requested similar visits. Adv Alberts will be doing the rounds to cover as many of the towns where these pensioners are situated.

Photos by Chris de Vos

 

 

 

 

FOLLOW PROCEEDINGS

Legal Updates on the case is posted here Pensioners are also welcome to contact Adv Anton Alberts office via email to Neels Hattingh at neels@vfplus.org.za or via phone to 012 772 4410 or 012 770 6041 or 021 665 0564

 

SPCA SAYS “NO FIREWORKS” COMPETITION!

As we close in on November, the traditional Fireworks sadly becomes an issue again, with December normally getting it’s fair share of fireworks activity around New Year as well. This year the SPCA is taking the early initiative by reaching out to the youth. This initiative comes from Marenda Venter, a local teacher at Pharos Primary School, who recently joined the SPCA committee.

Marenda has put together a Competition for All children from Kouga to participate in this awareness campaign, simultaneously raising funds for SPCA ASSISSI.

“This is an important fundraiser for the SPCA and we need all schools to get on board”, says Marenda. The teacher has spoken, so get your children to participate and enquire at their Schools.
It will be amazing if all your learners from Gr.R to 7 can participate!  To be eligible for the school prize, a minimum of 75% of the school’s learners in that phase must enter for the competition.
Written entries may be in English or Afrikaans. Printed posters will be delivered to all schools as well as entry forms.

Wonderful prizes are on offer for each category winning School, with a Notebook as First prize, sponsored by  True Technologies as well as R2,500 Cash Prize on offer sponsored by The Bay Pasta Co. A range of prizes are also on offer for the winning participants.  Be sure to enquire at your school for entry forms as well as for the rules of the competition. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

Enquiries: Marenda Venter  084 548 3149

 

The Pet Nanny

THE CHALLENGE

Residents often need someone to look after their pets and houses whilst travelling and being away from home.

Although social media has made this a little easier, it also provides for many opportunistic offers, with the question in mind: Who to trust and why.  Having a stranger in your private space and entrusting someone with the welfare of your animals can become rather challenging. With this in mind, JBO News investigated this trade and is happy to introduce a very unique service.

PET & HOUSE SITTING SERVICE

Benefits of such service are as follows:

1. Safeguards your home by showing occupancy while you are away making it a crime deterrent as your absence will be less visible.

2. General maintenance is taken care of. You return from holiday to a clean house, watered plants and maintained pool and of course happy and loved animals.

3. Reduced pet trauma by keeping your animals in their own environment and taking them on regular walks

4. No need to ask your neighbour, friends or family to take care of your pets. By getting a Pet and House sitter, you avoid imposing on neighbours, friends and families lives providing you peace of mind that you can holiday without feeling guilty about them having to take care of your home and animals.

5. Your animals will get the unconditional love that they receive when you are home.  Your animals are loved, played with and exercised so you can get home to happy, healthy and fit animals. It will help balance your animal’s energy levels also so that you don’t get home to a dog who is frustrated from not playing and exercising enough. It will be almost like you never left home!

6. No worries about exposure to any diseases. By avoiding kennels, you are also avoiding having your animals get into contact with diseases that other animals may be carrying and thus avoiding your animals getting affected by it. Having your animals’ board in kennels can also cause behavioural problems.

7. Keep you connected to your home while you are away. Your House and Pet Sitter can forward and take messages for you, keeping confidentiality in mind of course.

8. Regular update and feedback will be provided as required.

THE PET NANNY

Introducing Ciske Vorster,  Jeffreys Bay and surrounds’ own Pet Nanny.  More about her:

  • 3 years experience in the industry
  • Local knowledge & well established
  • Currently full time employed – meaning the service is offered out love more than than financial demand
  • Small staff compliment available as backup
  • Qualified animal first aid available
  • Direct access to qualified veterinary assistant if required
  • Completed an SPCA admin & legal course on animal management

 

 

KOUGA HUMANSDORP LENTEFEES

A festival to uplift the community (31 Aug- 1 Sep 2018)

Join us for 2 days of absolute delightful entertainment, food, bespoke market stalls, sport, agriculture, vehicles and businesses showcased right here in the Kouga!

Click on the Banner to visit the Site for more details.

NICO MALAN IN TOP 5 ATKV REDENAARSKOMPITISIE

Hoërskool Nico Malan se debat span het in die Top 5  skole ge-eindig in die 2018 ATKV se Skole Redenaars Kompetisie.

14 spanne van spogskole van oral oor die land het deelgeneem en Ruan Smit, Megan Heppell en Mariche Watermeyer maak almal wat na hulle geluister het, stom! Hulle het een en almal oortuig dat DAAR GEEN OUDERDOMS BEPERKING OP FLIEKS BEHOORT TE WEES NIE!

Die kompetisie het in Port Elizabeth begin waar hulle eers teen Hoërskool Pearson debateer en gewen het. Met hierdie wen het hulle die Oos-kaap gaan verteenwoordig by die Suid-Oos Kaap kompetisie wat by Hoërskool Outeniqua aangebied is. Hier het hulle weer skoonskip gemaak.

By die ATKV landsfinaal het hulle die Suid-Oos Kaap verteenwoordig en is in die die Top 5 geplaas.

Twee Nico Malan leerlinge, Mariche Watermeyer en Emmie Butoi het ook deurgedring tot by die ATKV Landsfinaal en is onder die Top 25 redenaars leerlinge in die land. Finale posisies sal eerskomende week bekend gemaak word. Ons hou almal duim vas.