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Port Elizabeth pensioners to embark on a protest over monies promised

By Afikile Lugunya - May 18, 2018
Port Elizabeth pensioners to embark on a protest over monies promised

The Civil Servants Pensioners Forum of Port Elizabeth are expected to embark on a protest march to the Vuyisile Mini Square in the Port Elizabeth CBD on Friday.

They hope to air their unhappiness over how the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) has been handled – apparently after several engagements with the government officials failed.

In a statement, the Civil Servants Pensioners Forum in Port Elizabeth said that the protest march was a last resort and vowed that they will embark on a national strike if needs be.

“This is to address the issue that there was a discriminatory fund made available to redress the apartheid laws that discriminated against civil servants of colour,” the Forum said.

It said that it had made many attempts to get positive feedback from various government departments.

However, the Forum said that they have been sent from pillar to post – from the Eastern Cape office of the Premier, to the office of former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, and to the GEPF.

“The democratic government promised to reimburse the previously disadvantaged civil servants. In 2011, the implementation of this redress was rolled out, civil workers across the breath and length of the country were told to fill in forms and promised that the process was to begin soon,” reads the statement.

“Pensioners braved cold weathers and waited in long lines, some in wheelchairs, some arrived as early as 4am and slept on concrete floors and some sick, from old age, having have been promised that their dignity will be restored.”

The Forum said that some seven years later, in 2018, nothing has been done which is why they have decided to embark on a protest march to the GEPF until “we are afforded our dignity back.”

“We will give the officials at GEPF a petition that demands that our money is paid no later than July 2018. Should our demands not be met we will simply not vote come the national elections in 2019. The forum is fed up.”