New innovations since the appointment of Alexander Forbes, include walk in centres and a help-desk, as well as people who can assist in all official languages. “We also changed our previous tracing initiative from one which was very passive to one which is very active and aggressive,” said Fritz. Tracing agents are only paid for those beneficiaries who are successfully located. The funds do not deal with “middlemen who unscrupulously charge fees to beneficiaries promising to assist them in claiming their benefits”, Fritz said.
Outside South Africa’s borders the Mines 1970s Funds is trying to trace qualifying former members. “Preliminary claim forms were distributed to Malawian District Labour offices and we have had 59 000 forms returned so far, with a success rate which is on par with other tracing endeavours.” The information we receive which does not match with the Mines 1970 Funds is sent to the MPF for cross-checking. “We are also finalising a partnership which would see Mines 1970 set up a desk in the MPF walk-in centres in Welkom, Carltonville, Mthatha, Klerksdorp and the Free State, which will further assist our desktop tracing initiatives.”