Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
SCORES of Zimbabweans who are former employees of the South African mines are set to receive their pensions and other benefits. Their representative body, the Ex-Wenela Miners Association, is making efforts to claim the benefits.
The association’s chairman Lungelwe Mkhwananzi, said those set to benefit worked in the mines in the neighbouring country in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Mkhwananzi said a number of ex-miners were not aware that they were owed money by their employers.
He said the association was in the process of registering former miners and retrieving records confirming their employment history.
“We started registering former miners in September last year but it was on a low note. The registration process is now in full swing. As an association we plan to move around provinces in a bid to raise awareness on this exercise.
“So far we’ve registered more than 2,000 people and this is just the beginning as more are yet to come. We’ve scores of people who worked for about 100 mining companies that were in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s,” he said.
Mkhwananzi said most of the registered members were from Matabeleland region while a few were from other provinces.
He said they were, however, faced with a challenge of registering spouses of late ex-mine workers as it was difficult to prove the employment history of some.
Mkhwananzi said some relatives did not know the exact name of the mine which their late relatives worked for.
“We’ve engaged the services of a South African based law firm, Xulu Attorney’s Incorporated,” he said.
The director of the law firm, Barnabas Xulu, said miners who were employed during the apartheid period were not aware of the benefits they were supposed to be paid.
“Some aren’t aware of all the formalities involved and how to go around them. Some mine workers are owed up to R400,000 each,” he said.