Cape Times

KZN pensioners address Parliament over payouts


AFTER listening to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Medium-term Budget speech, seven women felt pensioners were being ignored by the government so they travelled to Cape Town yesterday to address Parliament.

The pensioners, members of the Pietermari­tzburg Pensioners Forum, travelled by bus.

Having received only a R10 increase earlier this month, Doreen Taylor said the group decided to go to Parliament after they had written a letter and received a negative response.

“We decided to go to Parliament ourselves when they told us there was no money.

“We spoke and even though a solution wasn’t reached immediatel­y, our complaints were heard.”

Julie Smith, a researcher for the Pietermari­tzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group, who accompanie­d the women, said they spoke to the standing committee on finance directly.

The pensioners receive R1 700 a month and are asking for a bonus in December of an additional R1 700.

“We start out every year in terrible debt and this year is going to be much worse.

“We stand in the queue to collect the old age grant and then go and stand in the line to borrow money,” said forum member Thina Ogogo.

The group has also asked the committee to increase their pension to a living wage of R8 000.

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