North West municipal workers pension funds on the line

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Hundreds of workers at the Mahikeng Local Municipality in North West are at risk of losing their pensions.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority has threatened to liquidate the Council’s pension fund if its R226 million deficit is not funded by next week Friday.

The Fund’s financial woes were first reported to the Pension Funds Adjudicator in 2014. By then the fund’s deficit was more than R166 million. The most severely affected are those workers who recently retired. They were informed their pension money would not be paid as expected, due to a lack of funds.

One worker expressing concern says, “I have worked at the municipality since 1994. It hurts that now that I am on pension, and expecting to get my money, I am told that the municipality has not paid. I was promised that I would get about R1.9 million, pension money. Right now, my children have nothing to eat. They attend school and I have no money for transport. It’s really a struggle because we have nothing at all. I have no money to give them for school and no food.”

In 2018, it was reported that government departments, private businesses and households owed the embattled municipality over a billion rand for services rendered. This in turn was making it difficult to for it to provide services to residents.

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