Dependants wait in vain
ANY person who is injured, dies or is diagnosed with a work-related disease while at work is entitled to compensation.
Compensation is payable to employees or their dependants within 10 to 90 days after receipt of all the required documentation.
But after three years the Workmen's Compensation Commission has yet to pay a dependant whose husband died while performing his work.
For the past three years Elizabeth Molao, 49, of Motswedimosa in Northern Cape, has been begging the commission to issue a final award to enable the Road Accident Fund to consider her application for compensation as her husband was killed while on duty.
Molao says her husband was painting traffic lines when he was killed by a negligent driver.
She has four children.
She says though they promised to pay compensation within 10 to 90 days as prescribed by the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act , the commission has not done so.
She says she gave the commission all the documents on time .
On her last visit to their offices this month she was told her claim had not been attended to yet.
She says she was shocked because the commission had never indicated that the matter was not receiving attention.
She also lodged a claim with the RAF, but they cannot finalise her claim because the commission is not cooperating, she says.
Since December 2010 she has been forwarding all the letters she received from the RAF to the commissioner, Molao says.
Her husband was killed on September 10 2009.
Molao and her children currently survive on her 17-year-old child's government grant.
After Consumer Line's intervention the Workmen's Compensation Commission started working on Molao's file.
"I have just spoken to a lady at the labour centre about Molao's claim and she is going to send me the necessary documents," Vincent Nemasetoni of the Workman's Compensation Commission said.
- Moloisane Radebe, of Wesselsbron in Free State, is another employee who claims he has not received any compensation for his injuries.
The Act states that a person who is temporar ily disabled should be compensated up to 75% of his or her earnings or more, depending on what the labour minister prescribes.
Radebe was injured in July 2000 and was hospitalised for five months. He was injured while working on a CAT machine and the machine's cover plate fell on his lower right arm, fracturing it.
"My employer reported the injury to the Workmen's Compensation Fund, but they closed my file without compensating me," he says.
Radebe says the doctor recommended a 10% award for the injuries.
"My arm has not healed and still does not function properly," he says.
HOW THE LAW WORKS
- Employees can claim for loss of income or salary, permanent disablement, medical costs and death benefits.
- Upon death the surviving spouse receives a lump sum of twice the monthly pension the deceased would have received. After that they will receive a monthly pension of 40% of what the employee would have received.
- The pension is paid for life, even if a spouse remarries.
- If there is more than one customary wife, the pension is shared equally among the wives.
- The pension for children stops when they turn 18, but may extend until the child completes secondary or tertiary education or if the child is mentally and or physically disabled.
- A road accident claim expires after three years if summons is not served on the RAF.