Sizwe cu­ra­tor in bat­tle with ad­min­is­tra­tor

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PERSONALFINANCE -

Sech­aba Med­i­cal So­lu­tions, the ad­min­is­tra­tor of Sizwe Med­i­cal Fund, is con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion against the scheme af­ter its cu­ra­tor gave it four months’ no­tice that its con­tract with the scheme will be re­viewed.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from Sech­aba, no­tice was sent to it hours af­ter the cu­ra­tor, Ngubekhaya Gobinca, walked out of an an­nual gen­eral meet­ing at which mem­bers of the National Union of Me­tal­work­ers (Numsa) ob­jected to his chair­ing the meet­ing.

Numsa mem­bers had pre­vi­ously called for Gobinca’s sus­pen­sion.

Sech­aba says Gobinca has openly stated that he be­lieves the scheme should be self-ad­min­is­tered, but Sech­aba ques­tions whether this will save costs and not prej­u­dice the scheme’s about 60 000 mem­bers.

Sizwe is the only med­i­cal scheme Sech­aba ad­min­is­ters.

Sech­aba’s state­ment says it is of the view that Gobinca is not fit to be the cu­ra­tor be­cause the Coun­cil for Med­i­cal Schemes found his de­ci­sion to in­crease con­tri­bu­tions for 2013 by more than the con­sumer price in­dex (CPI) plus three per­cent, with­out in­form­ing mem­bers, to be neg­li­gent as it con­tra­vened the scheme’s rules and the Med­i­cal Schemes Act.

The coun­cil, how­ever, told Per­sonal Fi­nance that the de­ci­sion con­tra­vened the rules but not the Act and “had no bear­ing on the ten­ure of cu­ra­tor­ship”.

It said de­ci­sions to in­crease con­tri­bu­tions by more than CPI plus three per­cent have been made since 2010 with­out mem­bers be­ing in­formed, and when the cu­ra­tor took over in Septem­ber last year, the in­creases were al­ready pre­pared and he could not have de­layed the sub­mis­sion of con­tri­bu­tion in­creases to the coun­cil for ap­proval with­out jeop­ar­dis­ing Sizwe. – Laura du Preez

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