The Committee met to discuss the van Rheede petition. The applicant had worked for a State Department for 10 years, however for a certain period of the 10 years she was only employed as a temporary employee. She retired on 30 June 2010, and did not submit the necessary forms as they were not available at the time. She had eventually submitted the forms after she retired and discovered then that she would not be paid a full pension. She received assurance that she would be paid out in full for her 10 years and did not need to pay in for the three months when she was not a permanent employee of the department.
Members asked if the applicant was told before she retired that she would not receive her full pension and how she would be able to pay out the three months if she was not in a good financial situation. It was agreed that the Committee would here first from National Treasury before making a final decision concerning the petition.
The Committee also considered and approved several outstanding reports. These included the Report on the Munasur special petition, the Sessional Report and the Revised Fact sheet.
Election of Acting Chairperson
In accordance with the rules of Parliament, the Committee elected an Acting Chairperson due to the absence of the incumbent, Mr S Thobejane (ANC), who was not present.
Ms A van Wyk (ANC) was elected unopposed.
Van Rheede Petition
Dr L Bosman (DA) provided a brief summary of the petition. Ms van Rheede (from Oudtshoorn) had worked for a State Department for 10 years, however for a certain period of the 10 years she was only employed as a temporary employee. She retired on 30 June 2010, and did not submit the necessary forms as they were not available at the time. She had eventually submitted the forms after she retired and discovered then that she would not be paid a full pension.
Ms van Rheede had initially enquired about her pension in January 2010. She asked her manager whether she would be paid out in full for her 10 years or if she would be able to pay in for the three months when she was not a permanent employee of the department. Her manager ensured her that everything would be in order and she could even retire then. After her retirement she heard that her full retirement would not be paid out.
Mr Bosman told the Committee that he felt very strongly about this case as Ms van Rheede was in his constituency. She was a single person in an old age home and relied on the monthly income that she expected from a 10 year payout. She made it known from the beginning of 2010 that she was prepared to pay in the three-month period when she was employed in a temporary position. Mr Bosman appealed to the Committee that they gave her the benefit of the doubt.
The Chairperson thanked Mr Bosman for his presentation and asked the Committee to deliberate on the matter.
Mr P Pretorius (DA) said that according to him, the only mistake that was made was that Ms van Rheede did not buy back the three months when she was not permanently employed. There seemed to be a misunderstanding that took place before and after her retirement. The official denied that he told her that her full pension would be paid out. However, it seemed clear on the document from both the mother and daughter that that was not the case. He wondered whether there was an expectation that she should go to court and whether they were really expecting that someone went to court before the Committee came into the picture and helped.
Mr J Sosibo (ANC) asked whether Ms van Rheede was told before she retired that she would not receive her full pension.
Ms F Khumalo (ANC) asked how Ms van Rheede would be able to pay out the three months if she was not in a good financial situation.
Ms M Kubayi (ANC) wanted to know whether Treasury had responded and asked to see their response on the matter. She also agreed with Mr Pretorius that people should not have to go to court as a last resort and suggested that the Committee look at amending the rules to help citizens, especially where the clause spoke about someone exhausting all avenues.
Mr Bosman replied to some of the questions. He explained that Ms van Rheede knew about the three month pay out, but she was told before her retirement that it would not be necessary for her to pay out. In fact her regional manager and manager told her that she could already retire in January 2010. Ms van Rheede decided to wait until her retirement age, and after she retired filled out the forms and only then realised that she would not be paid out in full. All communication between her and the managers were verbal. He also expressed his concerns again about Ms van Rheede not being able to go to court.
The legal adviser that told the Committee that in the United States of America it has happened that the circumstances that applies to a person exhausting all their means were looked at objectively in terms of what a person could afford. One would be able to objectively look at her circumstances, and if the Committee agreed Ms van Rheede’s circumstances were enough for her to meet the requirement.
Ms van Wyk replied that she wanted to see the response from Treasury. They were expected to reply by 27 July 2011. Until then, the Committee would not be able to make a final decision regarding the petition.
Report on the Munasur special petition
The report was tabled and then adopted by the Committee.
The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.
The Committee adopted the report with a few grammar changes that needed to be made.
Revised Fact Sheet 1: Private Members’ Legislative Proposals
The document was adopted by the Committee with a slight grammar change that needed to be amended.
The Chairperson tabled several outstanding minutes for consideration. These were dated 16, 23, 30 March 2011; 13 April 2011; 25 May 2011 and 1, 8 June 2011.
Members corrected several minor errors and thereafter adopted all the minutes.
Ms Khumalo thanked Dr Barbara Loots, Committee Secretary, for reminding Members by phone about the meetings and asked that she keeps on doing so.
Ms Sosibo asked the Committee Secretary to enlarge the font on the documents.
The meeting was adjourned.
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