Today's Labour News

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transnetlogo thumb100 Business Report writes that thousands of Transnet pensioners scored a major victory on Wednesday when the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) gave them the go-ahead to seek to recover billions of rands from the company as well as from the Transnet Second Defined Pension Fund and the Transport Pension Fund.  

The judgment dismissed exceptions to the class action raised by Transnet and the funds and gave them 20 days to respond to the claim, which is estimated at R80 billion.  Approximately 60,000 former workers took the company to court in 2013 over pension payouts.  In their claim, the pensioners argued that there was a 1989 undertaking by Transnet’s predecessor, South African Transport Services (SATS), that they would receive the same pension benefits under a commercial entity Transnet as they did under SATS and its two pension funds.  At the time, SATS said the practice of annually increasing members’ pensions by at least 70% of the rate of inflation would continue.  “Transnet and the new pension funds kept the promise until 2002 by granting annual pension increases of about 80%, on average, of the rate of inflation.  Since then, they have broken the promise,” the judgment pointed out.  The pensioners’ case rests on three claims - that the funds increase the pension benefits by at least 70% of the rate of inflation with effect from 2003; that Transnet pay a R17.1bn plus interest “legacy debt” to the funds; and that the court render invalid an undertaking by trustees of the Transport Fund to donate 40% of its members’ surplus to Transnet.

  • Read this report by Siseko Njobeni in full at Business Report
  • Read too, Transnet has 20 days to file plea to oppose claim by 60‚000 pensioners, at Sunday Times

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page