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Men's group takes fight to retire at 60 to court

By unknown | Sep 11, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

A two day hearing of a case brought by a group of men challenging the unequal provision of the state old age pension to men at 65 and to women at 60, begins today.

The case of Roberts versus the Minister of Social Development is being heard at the Pretoria High Court.

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies of the University of the Witwatersrand and the Community Law Centre of the University of the Western Cape (represented by the Public Interest Law Department at Webber Wentzel Bowens) have been admitted as friends of the court to argue that the pension should be given to everyone at age 60 in terms of the rights to social security and equality in the Constitution.

Moray Hathorn, head of Webber Wentzel Bowens' pro bono Public Interest Law Department today said: "The case involves possible changes to the pension that would bring hundreds of thousands of new men into the social assistance system at a significant cost to the state."

Beth Goldblatt of The Centre for Applied Legal Studies sees the case as an important opportunity to extend the reach of the social assistance net to a larger number of poor and desperate people.

"It will also argue that any legal change to the pension must not alter the existing entitlements that women have to receive their pensions at age 60," says Goldblatt.

The Ministers of Social Development and Finance argue that the differential pension ages for women and men are designed to advantage women who are a disadvantaged group in South Africa.


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