transnetlogo thumb100 BL Premium reports that a hard-fought legal challenge brought by Transnet pensioners against the state-owned logistics company has after seven years culminated in a settlement agreement, offering only some justice for the long-suffering retirees.  

The settlement, which has yet to be made a court order, consists of a R30,000 lump sum per retiree, paid in three tranches over two years, and higher annual increases in future.  It falls way short of what many pensioners and their dependants expected.  It was originally argued in the legal challenge that pensioners were in fact owed R100bn in legacy debt, which would have amounted to R1.25m each.  When Transnet became the legal successor of SA Transport Services in 1990, about 80,000 Transnet pensioners were moved to one of two Transnet pension funds — the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund or the Transport Pension Fund — depending on when they retired.  Despite the government’s verbal commitment, the pension payouts have grown at just 2% per year in accordance with the fund rule — leaving many of the Transnet’s elderly former employees with little to no retirement income.  The provisional settlement will be finalised by an order of the Pretoria High Court on 14 April, if no legal objections are raised.  Although the lawyers representing the class action have not received valid objections, some might still be lodged ahead of the court date.  If the matter is successfully opposed, the court date will be postponed to 17 June.


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