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Malawi Ex-miners Start Receiving Provident Funds Benefits

By Chikondi Basikolo

Kazako (Centre)-speaking during the press briefing-Pic by Moses Nyirenda

Lilongwe, January 20, Mana: Deputy Minister of Labour, Vera Kamtukule has said government was doing its best to make sure that ex-miners receive their 1970 unclaimed benefits.

She made the remarks in Lilongwe on Thursday during a press briefing under the banner Government Faces the Press where Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, was in attendance.

 “As of January 6, 2022, 15 people have received their money directly into their accounts. Of these six are alive while nine are deceased. We are assuring people that the remaining payments will be finalised soon.

“No third party, including the government has a role in the payments of the money,” Kamtukule explained.

The Deputy Minister described the development as a remarkable progress considering that the matter has taken years without a single ex-miner being paid.

She said her Ministry would continue to trace the names provided by the Fund Authorities in South Africa and assist beneficiaries in filling the forms and putting together the required supporting documents to ensure that they access their benefits.

The Ministry is working with Ex Miners Association of Malawi. 

She added that the Ministry would continue working to gather information on ex-miners and help them claim benefits from any Fund in South Africa.

Over 500 names were confirmed by the Provident Fund of South Africa and their names were sent to all the District Labour Offices for tracing.

“So far 143 ex-miners have been traced and of these, 87 have provided full support documentation and they are the ones identified to be beneficiaries of the funds,” Kamtukule disclosed.

Minister of Information, Kazako, expressed gratitude that the process has started describing it as a very good progress saying it is the first time that ex-miners are receiving their benefits.

“We are glad to see fruits of good relationships between countries and it is clear that all these are happening because of the good relationship between the government of Malawi   and the Government of South Africa,” he said.

Kazako urged the public and private sectors to join hands to build the country and create a conducive environment for all Malawians.                                                  

Recruitment of miners from Malawi started as early as the 1940s where Malawians were recruited through the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association (WNLA) popularly known as WENELA.

The Governments of Malawi and South Africa signed a formal agreement on August 1, 1967 relating to employment and documentation of Malawian Nationals in South Africa.

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