Claims backlog big concern
HEALTH Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has blocked the tabling of the financials of the Compensation Fund in Parliament because he wanted to clean up the backlog of 100 000 cases of unpaid claims to injured workers.
Motsoaledi said in a letter to Parliament some of the unpaid claims date back to almost 20 years ago.
The backlog in the processing of claims to injured miners and other workers has led to delays in finalising and collating information on the state of the Compensation Fund.
He said a lot of work was being done to fix the state of the fund. An actuarial valuation of the fund is under way. Motsoaledi said the valuation report was expected in mid-August.
The auditor-general has also started his work in auditing the fund.
The minister said the previous financials of the Compensation Fund had adverse opinions from the auditor-general owing to missing beneficiary files and the auditor-general not accepting the previous actuarial valuation of the fund.
Unpaid claims to thousands of workers is one of the serious problems affecting the miners and other workers in the country.
The Registrar of Pension Funds said last year there was R20 billion sitting in the coffers of pension funds for unclaimed benefits.
The Financial Services Board (FSB) said in a report last year about 3.5 million people were owed the R20bn in unclaimed benefits.
It said one of the problems was that companies and pension funds did not provide information to the workers that they were entitled to benefits if they retire, were dismissed or retrenched.
It said there was poor monitoring on the administration of the pension funds by the boards.
The FSB said in a recent review it found there was R5.2bn in unclaimed benefits in the mining industry. This constituted a total of 200 000 miners.
The FSB said workers had to be cautious when claiming their benefits, and not do so through intermediaries.