pensioner has no legal relief

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

A Johannesburg man who worked for 33 years for a signage company and received R3000 as his retirement package cannot seek legal help because he is not protected by the present labour law.

Samuel Buthelezi, 67, of Jeppe, Johannesburg, worked for Ray Signs, a company based in Malvern, from 1974 until last year when he retired. He got a R3000 cheque on his retirement.

Rose Signs, Buthelezi's boss, claimed she had paid Buthelezi his pension after he had enquired about contributions to the pension fund.

Buthelezi denied this, describing it as a "blatant lie".

Since his early days at Ray Signs until his retirement last year Buthelezi was paid in cash. He was given a document written "pay register".

Sowetan has a copy of this document, which indicates that neither Buthelezi nor his employer had been contributing towards a pension fund.

"I don't understand how these people think I will live on R3000," Buthelezi said last week.

Labour Department spokesman Zolisa Sigabi said: "Currently there is no legislation forcing employers to set up a provident fund or pension fund with the exception of the security industry."

Sigabi said a debate was under way at the National Economic Development and Labour Council to establish an all-inclusive social security fund envisaged to cater for the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Compensation Fund and Pension Fund.

A Pension Fund senior adjudicator, Mfundo Daki, said an investigation would be instituted to determine whether there was foul play in Buthelezi's case.