CityPress - - News - SIPHO MASONDO sipho.masondo@city­press.co.za

The six cows that Le­siba left to his widow Daph­ney Man­ganyi and their two chil­dren are the only things stand­ing between the fam­ily and star­va­tion.

In De­cem­ber, un­em­ployed and des­per­ate, Man­ganyi sold one of the cows for R10 000 and used the money to buy her daugh­ters Khen­sani (16) and Ma­suko (8) clothes for Christ­mas, as well as sta­tionery and uni­forms for school.

Man­ganyi (47) de­cided to sell one of the cows when as­set man­ager Mvunon­ala Hold­ings’ sub­sidiary, Boph­elo Ben­e­fit Ser­vices, which was en­trusted with ad­min­is­ter­ing her hus­band’s pen­sion, failed to pay her for the sev­enth month in a row.

Le­siba died in 2014 after “get­ting sick”, his widow said. He was em­ployed by Am­plats and “worked un­der­ground in one of their mines”, and was a mem­ber of the Am­plats Group Prov­i­dent Fund.

“I sub­mit­ted all the nec­es­sary doc­u­ments as soon as my hus­band died. They only paid me R1 500 for both kids in Fe­bru­ary, March and April last year. Then they did not pay. They paid again last month, but did not this month,” she said.

Man­ganyi, who lives in a vil­lage in Mokopane, Lim­popo, about 50km from Polok­wane, said Boph­elo Ben­e­fit Ser­vices gave her nu­mer­ous ex­cuses, and asked her to re­send bank state­ments and her bank ac­count de­tails.

“If they don’t pay, there is lit­tle we can do. It’s not like we can ac­tu­ally do some­thing, you know; we are at their mercy,” she said. “My fridge is empty and we just sur­vive by God’s grace.”

In Atok, out­side Burg­ers­fort, Lim­popo, Pa­tience Let­lapa is wor­ried that, as win­ter draws near, she still has not bought shoes and warm clothes for her eight-year-old son, Nk­abak­goshi. Her prob­lems are iden­ti­cal to Man­ganyi’s.

“My hus­band, Mafolo­gela Maphanga, died in 2011, and Boph­elo only paid me once. They only paid me R1 600 in Jan­uary. I was not paid any­thing in Fe­bru­ary, March and April,” she said.

“They don’t pick up the phones; they just ig­nore us. Now I want to buy clothes for win­ter for my son, but I have no money. I also need money for trans­port and food for the boy. I am not em­ployed.”

Let­lapa (36) said she hoped that when Boph­elo Ben­e­fit Ser­vices fi­nally paid her, the pay­out would be back­dated to the death of Maphanga, who also worked at one of Am­plats’ mines. In the mean­time, she de­pends on the good­will of rel­a­tives and on a child grant from the state to sus­tain her and Nk­abak­goshi.

Mir­riam Maphanga, who is Let­lapa’s next door neigh­bour, is even worse off than Let­lapa and Man­ganyi.

The un­em­ployed 42-year-old strug­gles ev­ery day to feed her chil­dren – Dikeledi (19), Lebo (15) and Maria (13) – and keep them clothed.

“I de­pend on their child grants, but you know that a grant doesn’t go far, let alone for three chil­dren.”

Her late hus­band, David Ndou, a for­mer Am­plats em­ployee, died in 2010.

“I last got paid R800 on Jan­uary 1. We haven’t been paid since then. They keep say­ing ‘next week’. I called last Fri­day, and they told me they would pay this past Wed­nes­day. Wed­nes­day has come and gone and I still wait,” she said.

Dikeledi came of age last year and filed all the nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion to re­ceive her lump sum from the fund, but she is still wait­ing.

“We sub­mit­ted the forms more than three months ago and we are still wait­ing, and, frankly, I doubt we will ever get paid,” Maphanga said.


HOL­I­DAY HOME The house Bon­gani Mh­langa owns in Umh­langa, with its ocean view

LIV­ING IN LUX­URY An im­age of the Mey­ers­dal Eco Es­tate, where Mvunon­ala group chief ex­ec­u­tive Bon­gani Mh­langa owns a home. The pic­ture is taken from the web­site of the es­tate, where prop­er­ties are on the mar­ket for between R7 mil­lion and R25 mil­lion

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