Lifeline for ex-mine workers

Lifeline for ex-mine workers

Lemohang Rakotsoane

MASERU – RAND Mutual Assurance (RMA) in collaboration with Nedbank Lesotho has created a special account tailored for pensioners who once worked in South African mines.

The account is said to have no bank charges and beneficiaries can be able to use their cards to withdraw at any Nedbank branch or any other bank.

However, for beneficiaries to access the new account, they should fill a form to complete their proof of life process at any Nedbank Lesotho branch before the 31st October.

Most of the beneficiaries are widows, children of dead mineworkers and the injured workers.

“This process is important in order to ensure that RMA is paying the right amount to the right beneficiary and therefore it needs to be completed twice a year,” Patrick Matshidze, Chief Operating Officer of RMA, said.

“Our pensioners will receive notifications to remind them to complete the biannual proof of life process,” he said.

“In these months they will be required to visit the nearest Nedbank Lesotho branch where their Proof of Life Verification will be conducted,” he said.

“They should also bring with them any beneficiaries who are currently receiving a pension from RMA.”

He indicated that beneficiaries should bring with them proof of identification in the form of a national identity document, driver’s licence or passport as well as a letter from a local chief or utility bill which is less than three months old.

Nedbank branches will be open even on Sundays until the end of October for this purpose.

Matshidze said the Transactor account, held by Nedbank, is an initiative to bring money closer to the beneficiaries.

“RMA will continue to pay in full the pension as it has always done, which means that RMA will absorb all bank charges as these will not be transferred onto the pensioner,” Matshidze said.

“Any bank charges that may reflect on the bank statements are automatically reimbursed at the end of each month,” he said.

He added that the beneficiaries will no longer need to travel long distances or stand in long queues to obtain their money.

“They will have access to their money 24 hours a day and seven days a week as and when they need it. They will also receive notifications from the bank when the money has been paid in their account. They can also use their debit cards at any retail store to pay for their purchases,” Matshidze said.

In addition pensioners have the option of taking out a funeral benefit with RMA, which has been specifically discounted for RMA’s pensioners in Lesotho.

The benefit includes a payment of M30 000 for the pensioner, plus M30 000 for their spouse plus a cover for their children for a monthly fee of M80.

Matshidze said pensioners should heed the call and avoid a situation whereby due to lack of information and compliance a lot of children end up suffering while they could have been given funds to better their lives.

“A lot of Basotho children end up leaving school early to seek jobs in the mines or to be domestic workers because they could not afford to continue schooling after their fathers had passed on,” he said.

“There is lack of knowledge about RMA because they did not know that RMA would have paid.”

He added that beneficiaries should be aware that RMA pays out for every child as long as the child was already born before the father died.

He indicated that there is a lot of unclaimed money and part of the reasons is that people fail to update them with their new contact details.

The Minister of Health ’Molotsi Monyamane said it is unfortunate that due to desperation Basotho end up being victims of those claiming that they can help them claim their benefits.

“It is unfortunate that even doctors are involved. They help the beneficiaries fill the compensation forms and at the end when the claims come out the doctors walk away with a big chunk of the money,” Monyamane said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Social Development Molahlehi Letlotlo said there are a lot of orphans whose parents worked in the South African mines.

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