'Milking pensioners will come to an end'

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Meshack Radebe has vowed to crack down on funeral schemes and loan sharks milking pensioners in the province.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Meshack Radebe has vowed to crack down on funeral schemes and loan sharks milking pensioners in the province.

The companies allegedly lure pensioners with the promise of a dignified funeral but when the policyholder dies there are no benefits.

Some pensioners allegedly pay over all the money from their government grants at the end of the month to funeral scheme representatives and loan sharks.

An infuriated Radebe said this would come to an end in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Our people are being robbed," he said. "We will introduce a strict law to protect pensioners against these spurious business practices.

"Sometimes when a pensioner dies the funeral scheme disappears and our department has to step in to help give the deceased a dignified burial."

Radebe said their campaign to end the exploitation of pensioners would entail public hearings.

"People are concerned about these burial schemes," he said. "We will table a bill to save pensioners from these heartless people.

"The government cannot allow such things to happen," said Radebe. - Mhlaba Memela

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