Friday 2019-11-22

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PENSIONERS GET COLA

By Nonduduzo Kunene | 2019-10-21

Public Service Pensions Fund (PSPF) pensioners will be smiling all the way to the bank next month when they get their 5.9 per cent cost of living adjustment on their monthly pay.

Government has approved the payment of CoLA for five public enterprises, including the PSPF.

The other four are Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC), Eswatini Water Services Corporation (EWSC) and Eswatini Development Finance Corporation (FINCORP).

Public servants, on the other hand, are still at loggerheads with government over CoLA and they demand a 9.78 per cent increment whilst the employer is only offering a three per cent once-off.

According to Mbabane branch of the pensioners outgoing vice chairperson, now National Executive Council (NEC) Chairperson Elliot Mkhatshwa, the Public Service Minister Christian Ntshangase promised that if all paperwork is submitted on time, pensioners’ November salaries will have an added 5.9 per cent CoLA.

Mkhatshwa was addressing Mbabane branch pensioners on Friday at Mbabane Library during their monthly meeting.

Mkhatshwa, in his address, stated that the reason the CoLA was not added in April was because the Fund did not have a board of trustees (BoT).

The board of trustees is the body  responsible for major decision-making of the Fund which includes investments as well as review of salaries.

Worth noting, this is the same board that Sibongile Mazibuko was omitted from when it was appointed.

Economy

Mkhatshwa explained that the pensioners’ CoLA had nothing to do with the ailing economy as their money was deducted a long time ago. Besides the CoLA, pensioners still want their grants to be reviewed.

“Do not mix CoLA and a review. Those are two different things,” he said.

Mkhatshwa said they were still awaiting the review which was also stalled by the absence of BoT and a non-functional NEC (referring to the previous NEC). 

He said the monthly pension they are currently receiving needs to be reviewed. The review will be within three years, Mkhatshwa said.

 Furthermore, the newly-elected NEC chairperson said they were also looking at reviewing the exit package or gratuity.

“Pensioners should take 50 per cent of their money home not 25 per cent,” he said.

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