Blantyre — Minister of Labour, Skills and Innovation, Martha Chanjo Mhone says government is working tirelessly to ensure that Malawian ex miners who worked in the South African mines under Teba get their pension money in time.
Currently, there are over 49,000 registered ex miners who are expected to get their pension funds, according to statistics from the Ministry of Labour.
Speaking on Monday in Blantyre after holding an interface meeting with representatives of the group from various districts across the country, Mhone said currently, there are 25 names of ex miners who have qualified for the pension money.
She added that the ministry has since initiated a different mechanism which includes the deployment of labour officers to various districts to assist the rest of ex miners to correct the forms which were wrongly filled previously.
"So far, 25 names of ex miners are qualified and are only waiting to fill the affidavit forms to get their money. But the rest, their forms were wrongly filled such that they need to start the process again.
"Right now, we have linked up with our Desk Officer in South Africa by the name Chilongo to re-send the forms which were wrongly filled so that the ex-miners with assistance from labour officers fill the forms correctly and start the process of payment," explained the minister.
Mhone, therefore, said it was the wish of government to ensure that all South Africa's Malawian ex-miners get their pension money without facing any challenges.
The minister also dispelled rumours alleging that government already got the money meant to pay the ex-miners and channeled it to other development projects.
"I must clarify that the money is not ready, once the process of payment starts the money will be transferred electronically and directly to the ex-miners' bank accounts. So, the rumour that government had a hand on the ex-miner's money is baseless and unfounded," she said.
in his remarks, the Ex-Teba Mine Workers Association of Malawi National Chairman, John Dick commended the minister for the efforts made to ensure that ex-miners in the country get their pension money.
"This is a welcome idea and we are thankful to government, in particular the minister of labour for the step she has taken to overhaul the process. This is an important decision and we are confident of getting our pension money in time," he said.
Between the 1960s and 1980s, several Malawians trekked to South Africa to work in mines under an arrangement with Teba Limited which served South African mining companies and mineworkers throughout Southern Africa.