Relief for pensioners, ex-miners
. . . as RMA beneficiaries to receive dues through Nedbank
BASOTHO pensioners, ex-miners and their dependents who receive pensions through Rand Mutual Assurance (RMA) have until the end of this month to complete the Ana O Sa Phela (Proof of Life) process at any Nedbank Lesotho branch.
The call was made this week during an event organised by Bam Promotions to launch the RMA and Nedbank Lesotho partnership aimed at making it easier for Basotho to access their funds.
RMA is a South African company that pays pensions to former miners with permanent disabilities or to the beneficiaries of workers who died of work-related injuries or diseases. Established in 1894, RMA currently serves 3 799 Basotho recipients and also pays school fees for children of deceased miners who must be below the age of 18 at the time of the death of their parent(s).
RMA Chief Operations Officer Patrick Matshidze said the process would make it easier for Basotho pensioners to get their dues and also enable the company to verify if it was paying living recipients.
“We used to pay mining pensioners in different ways but they were not effective as most had to travel long distances for the payments. This new partnership will enable them to get money from any Nedbank ATM any time,” he said.
“Pensioners are requested to visit any Nedbank Lesotho branch and present proof of residence, identification document and a confirmation that they are paid by RMA.
“RMA will be working closely with the district administrators and local chiefs to ensure that we spread the Ana O Sa Phela message all over the country and further ensure that pensioners have no disruptions in accessing their payments following the October deadline.
“In addition, pensioners are advised to open RMA Transactor Accounts with Nedbank Lesotho that will bring money closer to them in a convenient and safe way. This can be done at any branch closest to them.”
Mr Matshidze said the RMA Transactor Account enabled RMA pensioners to receive a debit card which they can use to withdraw money from the ATM at no cost.
“RMA will continue to pay the full pension and we will absorb all bank charges. Any charges that may reflect on the bank statement will be automatically reimbursed at the end of each month,” he said.
“We value our Basotho pensioners and we are certain the new process involving Nedbank Lesotho will have far-reaching benefits for them in terms of convenience and ease of access. We look forward to continuing our journey with our beneficiaries in Lesotho as we continue to provide caring, compassionate compensation and support.”
Pensioners, Mr Matshidze said, had the option to take the RMA funeral benefit, specifically discounted for RMA pensioners in Lesotho where for the monthly fee of M80.
“One person is entitled to M30 000 compensation and M30 000 for the spouse as well as cover for the children.
“We also bring our medical team once every year to Lesotho to check on the patients on pension,” he said.
Nedbank Lesotho Head of Retail and Distribution, Teboho Mhlanga, said they were in the process of establishing more branches and the process was also important to them as it would help verify existing clients.
“Nedbank Lesotho has 10 branches in different parts of the country and we are hoping to increase them soon to reach out to more clients,” said Mr Mhlanga.
“RMA’s proposal came in handy because we are expected to regularly check the existence of our clients.
“We also designed the RMA Transactor Account which will enable RMA pensioners to access their funds free of charge while RMA incurs the charges. We have also arranged to open on Sundays throughout this month so that RMA clients can come for the verification process.”
He said the debit cards were designed in a way that would not allow scammers to copy information from the card.
“However, you must always protect your PIN numbers,” he said, adding they would also provide customers with M2 000 cover for up to four family members.
Government officials, who included Health Minister Dr Molotsi Monyamane and Social Development Minister Molahlehi Letlotlo and Labour and Employment Principal Secretary Advocate Karabo Tlhoeli, hailed the initiative saying it would safeguard pensioners from being ripped off by people pretending to facilitate the swift release of their pensions.
“There is labour migration between the two countries and Basotho have worked in the South African mines for many years,” said Advocate Tlhoeli.
“We have a memorandum of understanding with the labour and health ministries of South Africa to ensure a safe and conducive working environment.
“Our work is to ensure that people get their benefits and we have over 2 000 unclaimed cases. I advise pensioners to follow the right procedures and use well known organisations that we can hold to account for anything that may go wrong. We believe this arrangement will ease the lives of Basotho.”