Transnet Pensioner Update 11 August 2017 

The date of the hearing in the constitutional court is 16 November 2017 at 10:00 

Follow the link below for more information .

Directions in CCT 95-17 Transnet.pdf Directions in CCT 95-17 Transnet.pdf
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Transnet Pensioner update 06 April 2017 

The Judge President of the Supreme Court of Appeal finally dismissed the Pensioners' application for special leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal on the basis that there are no extraordinary circumstances justifying the reconsideration of the initial refusal to grant leave to appeal.

 

Following the advice of our lead senior counsel, Advocate Wim Trengove SC we have decided to apply to the Constitutional Court for direct access to the Constitutional Court to appeal the ruling by the High Court in Pretoria. 

 

We will, therefore, file the necessary affidavits and documentation with the Constitutional Court during the course of April 2017 as is prescribed in the Rules of the Constitutional Court.  Our legal team is currently busy with the preparation of the necessary documentation.

 

Although we are not in a position to provide a precise timeframe when this application will be finalised we can inform you that in our experience applications for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court takes approximately three months to be finalised.

 

We can assure you that this decision taken was not done without due consideration and appreciation of all factors, but we regard it in the interests of all the pensioners to have the relevant legal issue decided by the Highest Court in the land.  The legal issues under consideration are largely novel legal issues and in the end, the final decision would, in any event, lay with the Constitutional Court.   Unfortunately, we had to follow the prescribed legal process and it was therefore only open for us to approach the Constitutional Court once final determination had been made by the Supreme Court of Appeal in this regard.

 

The legal team remains dedicated to the course and also confident that the outcome of this application will be positive and beneficial to all pensioners.   Unfortunately, the process is a prolonged one and takes time.  We are bound by these time frames and cannot do anything to expedite the procedure at this stage.

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE 12 FEBRUARY 2017 

Following the Chief Justice ruling dismissing the Pensioners’ application for special leave to appeal, on the advice of our lead Senior Counsel we have applied to the Chief Justice to reconsider his ruling based on the importance of this matter to the Pensioners and to the administration of justice in general.

Transnet and the Pension Funds have filed affidavits in opposition to our application to which affidavits we have to reply on or before 27 February 2017.


These timeframes are all prescribed by the Supreme Court of Appeal Rules.Our legal team is currently busy with this reply and it will be filed timeously.


As soon as we receive the new ruling by the Chief Justice we will update this site and will then set out the way forward. Please note that there is no fixed time within which the ruling have to be handed down.


The legal team remains dedicated to the cause and will continue to protect and serve the interests of the Pensioners in a skillful and professional manner.

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE  13 DECEMBER 2016 

After due consideration of the situation, it was decided that it would be in the interest of the pensioners to approach the Chief Justice once more for reconsideration of our application for special leave to appeal against the ruling on the exception.

On 12 December 2016, we filed an application on behalf of the Applicants in terms of section 17 (2)(f) of the Superior Courts Act for reconsideration of special leave to appeal due to special circumstances.

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE 25 NOVEMBER 


The Chief Justice had made a ruling dismissing the Pensioners’ application for special leave to appeal as well as the counter application by Transnet and the two Pension Funds.

The effect of this ruling is that the Particulars of Claim filed on behalf of the Pensioners will now have to be amended in relation to the promise by the then Minister of Transport and the allegation of the unfair labour practice.

These amendments will have no bearing on the actual claim by the Pensioners for pension increases that keeps track with the expected inflation growth.

The ruling by the Chief Justice will speed up the finalisation of this matter and Transnet and the Funds will have to submit their answer to the claims shortly after the amendment to the Particulars of Claim.

It has come to our attention that persons, who has no insight or knowledge of the process and the progress in this matter are spreading rumours that the case has been lost. This is, not only incorrect, but done with spurious motive.  We urge the Pensioners to remain positive and to follow our updates as and when there happens something of importance in this case.

The legal team remains dedicated to the cause and will continue to protect and serve the interests of the Pensioners on a skilful and professional manner.

This site will be updated as soon as new developments take place. 

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE 8 NOVEMBER 2016 


All the required documentation in the application for Special Leave to Appeal has now been submitted to the Chief Justice and we await a decision whether or not the Pensioners will be allowed to appeal the ruling by the Honourable Justice Legodi in relation to the exceptions raised by Transnet and the two Pension Funds. There is NO prescribed time for the judgement and we have to wait.

Should the decision be favourable to the Pensioners’ case the appeal will be argued in the Supreme Court of Appeal, Bloemfontein, where after, if we are successful Transnet and the Pension Funds will have to file their answer to the claims by the Pensioners in the form of a Plea.

It is understandable that the Pensioners are uneasy with the drawn-out legal process, but there are no shortcuts in our legal system and processes and timeframes are prescribed in the legislation.

We are still very positive that there will be a favourable outcome for the Pensioners and you understanding and support in the process are dearly appreciated.

This site will be updated as soon as new developments take place. 

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE 14 SEPTEMBER 2016 

RE: TRANSNET PENSION FUND

First and Second Respondents (Funds) filed a conditional application for leave to cross appeal on 9 September 2016 and Transnet filed a conditional application for special leave to appeal on 5 September 2016.

 

We have one month to file replying affidavits’ on both applications.

 

We will keep you updated in one month after filing our reply and receiving their reply.

Transnet  Pensioners update 6 September 2016 


In our previous news update we indicated that it was decided to apply to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeal for special leave to appeal the judgement of Mr. Justice Legodi.

The Application was issued with the Office of the Chief Justice on Monday 5th September 2016.

The Third Respondent (Transnet) has similarly issued a conditional application for special leave to appeal against the judgement of Mr. Justice Legodi.

We will file an answer to the conditional application for special leave to appeal within 30 days and expect Transnet and the Funds to similarly file an answer.After all pleadings have been exchanged in these applications we will await a ruling from the Office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeal on whether or not special leave has been granted to proceed with the appeal.


As soon as we receive the ruling from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeal we will post the outcome and the further procedure.We are positive that there will be a favourable outcome and that the pensioners’ case is still on track for a favourable outcome.

We ask the pensioners to be patient and request that you be mindful of the fact that there are about 60 000 members and to limit your telephonic inquiries.Please further note that there will be no update prior to the expiry of the 30 days, unless something extraordinary happens.

Transnet Pensioners Update  15 August 2016 

As we have previously reported the Funds and Transnet filed exceptions against the claims issued on behalf of the Pensioners. These exceptions were argued by all parties and the learned Mr. Justice Legodi on 18th May 2016 upheld the exception that Transnet and the Funds lodged in respect of one of the claims and dismissed the exceptions against two of the claims.


After extensive consultations and consideration amongst the legal team acting on behalf of the Transnet Pensioners, we came to the conclusion that it will be in the best interest of the Pensioner’s case against Transnet and the Funds to apply the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against the judgement delivered by Mr. Justice Legodi, the learned judge having refused leave to appeal on 5th August 2016.


The issues at stake in the claim where the exception was upheld revolves around the promise made to the Pensioners prior to the formation of Transnet in relation to the 70% of CPIX annual increases to their pensions. The Rules of the Pension Funds only allows 2% increases per annum. As the pensioners are aware the 70% increases were abolished by the Funds in 2001 and this caused the predicament that the Pensioners are currently experiencing.


The decision to apply for leave to appeal, and an eventual appeal if we are successful, will cause a delay in the finalisation of this matter, but we, the legal team are unanimously of the opinion that this aspect is of such importance to the case that it will be worth the delay and we are optimistic that the Chief Justice will allow us leave to appeal and that the appeal will be successful.


We are aware of the hardship and frustration that are experienced by the Pensioners, and will continue to do everything in our power to expedite the finalisation of this case, but we cannot take unnecessary risks that might jeopardise the chances of a successful conclusion to this matter.   


Transnet Pensioners  Update 5 August 2016 


The Honourable Justice Legodi handed down judgement today, 5th August 2016 on the Pensioners’ Application for leave to appeal against his finding on the exceptions to the Particulars of Claim filed in the Pensioners’ case We are currently considering various options including the option to appeal or making minor amendments to our particulars.


In this regard we will update you regarding our decision going forward by the end of next week. The Pensioners’ case is still on track and we will keep you updated on any further progress on this page.


Sy Edele Regter Legodi het vandag, 5 Augustus 2016 uitspraak afgehandig op die Aansoek om verlof tot appêl teen sy bevinding op die eksepsies wat geliaseer is ten aansien van die Besonderhede van Vordering in die Pensionarisse se saak.


Ons oorweeg tans al die opsies insluitend om te appelleer of om wysigings aan die besonderhede van vordering aan te bring. Ons sal julle op hoogte hou teen vrydag volgende week. Die Pensionarisse se saak is steeds op dreef en ons sal u op hoogte hou van toekomstige vordering op hierdie webwerf.

Transnet Pensioners Update 21 June 2016

Application for leave to appeal was argued this morning in the Pretoria High Court and judgement was reserved to the last week of July 2016. When the date becomes available it will be posted


Die aansoek om verlof tot appel was vanoggend geargumenteer in die Pretoria Hoehof en uitspraak was voorbehou tot die laaste week van Julie 2016. As die datum beskikbaar raak sal dit geplaas word

Transnet Pensioners update 18 June 2016

On Tuesday 21 June 2016 in the High Court Pretoria, an application for leave to appeal against the judgement granted on 18 May 2016 will be argued.

Op 21 Junie 2016 in die Hoë Hof Pretoria sal n aansoek om verlof om te appeleer teen die uitspraak van 18 Mei 2016 geargumenteer word .

TRANSNET PENSION UPDATE   18 MAY 2016 

Judgement was delivered today in the High Court, Pretoria in relation to the exceptions raised by Transnet and the Pension Funds against the Particulars of Claim by the Pensioners

The Pensioners Legal team was granted a 14-day period to amend their Particulars on some minor aspects in which the Court upheld the exception.

The bulk of the exceptions was dismissed. No order as to costs was made. We attach the Judgement hereto.

The Pensioner’s claim is continuing and we will report on any development.

 

Uitspraak was vandag in die Hoëhof, Pretoria gelewer met betrekking tot die eksepsies deur Transnet en die Pensioen Fondse geopper teen die Pesionarisse se Besonderhede van Vordering.

Die Pensioenarisse se regspan is 14 dae gegun om die Besonderhede te wysig met betrekking tot geringe aangeleenthede waar die Hof die eksepsies gehandhaaf het.

Die grootste gedeelte van die eksepsies is van die hand gewys. Geen bevel met betrekking tot koste is gemaak nie.

Die Pensioenarisse se eis gaan voort en ons sal verslag doen sodra daar enige verwikkeling is.

 

To view or download the judgement for today 18 May 2016  please follow the link below, A short summary will follow soon 

Vir vandag 18 May 2016  se uitspraak volg die link , n kort verduideliking sal volg.


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Transnet Pensioners update May 2016

‪#‎transnetpensioners‬ uitspraak verwag vandag 09:30 ons sal julle op hoogte hou .Judgement expected today at 09:30 , we will keep you updated.

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE APRIL 2016 

Op 4 April 2016 het die pensionarisse se saak teen Transnet en die Pensioen Fondse weereens in die Pretoria Hooggeregshof gedraai toe hulle gepoog het om die pensioenarisse se saak te stop deur besware teen die pensionarisse se eise te maak.

Argumente was aangehoor deur Regter Legodi in n vol hofsaal waar ongeveer 350 pensionarisse hof bygewoon het.

Advokaat Trengove het namens die pensionarisse opgetree en ons is vol moed dat die Hof in guns van die pensionarisse sal bevind.

Uitspraak is voorbehou.

On 4 April 2016 the case by the pensioners against Transnet and the Pension Funds once again turned in the High Court Pretoria as they attempted to stop the case by objecting against the pensioners claim.

Arguments were heard by Judge Legodi in a packed court room attended by about 350 pensioners.

Advocate Trengove acted on behalf of the pensioners and we are confident that the Court will rule in favour of the pensioners.

Judgement was reserved.

Photo on right by Rekort East 

TRANSNET PENSIONERS' UPDATE JANUARY 2016

On 4 and 5 April 2016, argument will be heard on the exceptions filed by Transnet and the Funds to our Particulars of Claim filed on your behalf.

The Court will make a ruling if the particulars of claim have to be amended or if the Particulars of Claim need to be answered to (plead on) by Transnet and the Funds.

Should the Court rule in our favour we shall expect a plea (the version) of Defendants within a month. Applications will be made for the earliest trail date after the pleading is closed.

A  Judge has been appointed as a case manager and we believe that this will expedite the matter.

We will be informing you on 6 April 2016 of the outcome of the Court case.

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE

TRANSNET PENSIONERS’ CASE UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 2015

1. The legal team acting on behalf of the pensioners was bolstered when Adv. Wim Trengove SC, who is a renowned and highly regarded litigation specialist, joined the legal team.

2. At the time periods, determined by the Court Order declaring the pensioners a class, the summons was issued and served. Both the Pensions Funds and Transnet gave notice of their intension to oppose the action.

3. Further documentation were requested and after same were delivered to Defendants exceptions were raised by both Pensions Funds and Transnet to the Particulars of Claim and minor amendments were done to the Particulars of Claim.

4. Transnet again filed an exception to the Particulars of Claim and it is currently addressed.

5. The effect of these exceptions is that it delays the filing of the Pensions Funds and Transnet’s pleas to the pensioners’ claims.

6. We are in the process of applying to the Deputy Judge President for the appointment of a Judge as a case manager to expedite the pre-trial procedures and to handle the interim disputes as soon as possible.

7. Litigation, by its nature, is a slow and protracted process, but the pensioners can rest assured that the legal team are hard at work to handle the case in their best interest.

8. We ask that the pensioners be mindful that there are about 60 000 pensioners with an interest in this case and that we request that they try to limit individual contact with the attorneys as regular telephonic inquiries are placing an unbearable strain on our available resources.

9. We will ensure that regular updates are published on our website.

 JUNE 2015 

All preliminary aspects as require in the Court Order declaring the Pensioners a Class has now been adhered to.  The time frames have now lapsed and we are happy to announce that summons was issued on 5 June 2015

under Case No. 42355/15

 

The three prayers claimed for are as follows:

 

  1. That the pensioners be paid increased pension that will counter the inflation effects and be compensated for the arrears.

     2. That Transnet pay the legacy debt to Pension Funds, and;


    3. That Transnet  pay R309 121 000.00 to Transport Pension Fund.

 

From date of service, the Pension Funds and Transnet will have 10 days to note their intention to defend and thereafter have to file their pleas in answer to the claims.

 

Future developments will be updated on the web site.

 

We request pensioners to kindly note that there are approximately 60 000 pensioners affected by this matter and to limit inquiries, as it is extremely onerous on the attorneys to respond to countless telephone calls.

 

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TRANSNET PENSIONER'S UPDATE 2 FEBRUARY  2015 Pensioner’s legal team busy with Particulars of Claim for issue of Summons mid February 2015.

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TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE 22 DECEMBER 2014 Transnet's leave to appeal dismissed with costs in SCA on the grounds that an appeal has no reasonable prospect of success!!Good news for the Pensioners and all concerned! We are grateful and thank you for your support!

TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE 25 AUGUST 2014

Who qualifies to form part of this action? Only the members and the dependant and dependant pensioner members of the two funds. "Pensioner dependent", in relation to the Transport Pension Fund, is a person entitled to a pension payable by that fund as a result of membership of a deceased member or deceased pensioner of that fund; 'Dependent', in relation to a pensioner - (i) A spouse of a legal marriage who do not stay apart from the pensioner , whether by judicial agreement or otherwise; (ii) a child, stepchild, legally adopted child or illegitimate child younger than 18 years , who is unmarried, and who, in the opinion of the Board, dependent on the pensioner at the time of death of the pensioner; (iii) a child referred to in sub paragraph (ii) above, but older than 18 and younger than 26 years, and a full-time student or physically or mentally disabled: Provided that the Board in a certain circumstances can extend the age beyond 26, provided that the employer agree to the additional amounts calculated by the actuary as necessary to the Fund to contribute to provide for such benefits; (iv) a child born after the death of a pensioner who would be considered a child under sub paragraph (ii); or (v) a person who, in the opinion of the Board,was in fact dependent on the pensioner for maintenance. * Current members, dependents, dependent pensioner of Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and Transport Fund. * Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund consists of pensioners already retired and on pension on 1 November 2000. * Transnet Pension Fund members is people who were employed but not on pension on 1 November 2000 and elected not to transfer to the Retirement Fund but to remain part of the Transport Fund.

TRANSNET PENSIOEN -25 AUGUSTUS 2014

Wie kwalifiseer om deel te wees? Slegs die lede en die afhanklike en afhanklike gepensioeerde lede van die twee fondse "afhanklike gepensioeneerde", met betrekking tot die Vervoer-pensioenfonds, 'n persoon wat geregtig is op 'n pensioen betaal deur daardie fonds as gevolg van die lidmaatskap van 'n gestorwe lid of gestorwe gepensioeneerde van daardie fonds; 'afhanklike', met betrekking tot 'n gepensioeneerde- (i) 'n gade van 'n erkende huwelik, mits so 'n persoon nie weg van die gepensioeneerde woon nie, hetsy deur geregtelike ooreenkoms of andersins; (ii) 'n kind, stiefkind, wettig aangenome kind of buite-egtelike kind wie se ouderdom 18 jaar of jonger is, wat ongetroud is, en wat, volgens die oordeel van die Raad, afhanklik was van die gepensioeneerde ten tyde van die dood van die gepensioeneerde; (iii) 'n kind beoog in subparagraaf (ii) hierbo maar wat ouer as 18 jaar en jonger as 26 jaar is en wat voltyds studeer of liggaamlik of geestelik gestrem is: Met dien verstande dat die Raad in 'n besondere geval die maksimum ouderdom van 26 kan verleng, op voorwaarde dat die werkgewer akkoord gaan om die bykomende bedrae wat deur die aktuaris nodig geag word tot die Fonds by te dra om voorsiening te maak vir sodanige voordeel; (iv) 'n kind gebore na die dood van 'n gepensioeneerde wat as 'n kind beskou sou word ingevolge subparagraaf (ii); of (v) 'n persoon wat, na die mening van die Raad, inderdaad afhanklik was van die gepensioeneerde vir onderhoud. *Huidige lede, afhanklikes, afhanklike gepensioeneerde van die Transnet Tweede Vaste Voordeelfonds en Transport fonds. *Transnet Tweede Vaste Voordeel Fonds bestaan uit pensioenarisse wat reeds op 1 November 2000 afgetree en op pensioen was. *Transnet Pensioenfonds is werknemers wat op 1 November 2000 in diens was en gekies het om nie na die Aftree fonds te skuif maar deel van die Transport Fonds fonds te bly

TRANSNET UPDATE 19 AUGUST  2014 

Transnet apply for leave to appeal in Pensioners Classaction. To download the appeal please follow link 

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TRANSNET PENSIONERS UPDATE 31 JULY 2014 

Success #TransnetPensioners #ClassAction granted leave by court to sue #Transnet

Transnet Pensioners Press Release 

"As the attorneys acting on behalf of the Applicants we wish to state the following:

  1. There is no political involvement or affiliation in this litigation and same will not be tolerated.
  2. We act on behalf of Applicants and the members of the funds and will only take instructions from them.
  3. The pensioners will not be required to fund this litigation.
  4. Should any person or entity wish to assist with funding the expenses, the attorney of record will receive donations in a trust account and appoint independent auditors to manage such funds.  These expenses exclude legal funds of the attorneys and counsel.
  5. We wish to emphasise that it is not a prerequisite or requirement that any donations be made and the continuation of the litigation is not subject to any donations.

 

To download the judgement or the full Press Release follow link below.

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Transnet Pensioners Press Release.doc Transnet Pensioners Press Release.doc
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 Transnet Pensioners update  18 June 2013 

 Transnet Request for documents  - To download full document please follow the link 

Transnet Pensioners update 20 June 2013 

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TRANSNET PENSIONERS CLASS ACTION UPDATE 29 JULY 2014 

People please keep your fingers crossed for TRANSNET PENSIONERS CLASSACTION- The Judgement will be handed down on Thursday 31 July at 9h30 in Court 4 A. Lets hope the pensioners get the money they deserve. 


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TRANSNET PENSIONER CLASS ACTION UPDATE 30 APRIL 2014 

On request of the State Attorney on behalf of Minister of Public Enterprises, who at this very late stage want to file affidavits and Heads of Argument, the DJP-despite our opposition thereof, postponed the matter to 21 and 22 July.

TRANSNET PENSIONER CLASS ACTION UPDATE 25 FEBRUARY 2014

Applicants filed their Heads of Argument on 25 February.

Respondents to file their Heads of Argument within 10 court days.

A special court date for Argument to be arranged with the Judge President on receipt of Respondents Heads of Argument.


PENSIONERS CLASS ACTION AGAINST TRANSNET

UPDATE ON TRANSNET CLASS ACTION 21 October  2013  

8 November date that Transnet and all Respondents compelled to file their final opposing affidavit in Class  Action Application .

Transnet Pensioners Press Release  21 June 2013 

   Class Action Progress:

All the Respondents have indicated their intention to oppose the application. Transnet requested an extension and have until 22 July 2013 to file their answering affidavits and we expect the others to follow and they may request an extension as well. We will have to file our replying affidavits within 10 days of receipt of the respondents answering affidavits. We agreed to an extension because of the volume of documents and because we will probably need an extension as well.


TRANSNET PENSIONERS PRESS RELEASE 8 MAY 2013

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TRANSNET PENSIONERS CLASS ACTION – NORTH GAUTENG HIGH COURT, PRETORIA

On Friday 26 April 2013 two pensioners launched an application in which they seek to obtain an order from the Court certifying the institution of a class action against inter alia Transnet and the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund. The application was served on all the relevant parties on Wednesday 7 May 2013. The Defendants now have 15 days to intimate whether they intend to oppose the application.

It has recently come to the attention of the legal representatives acting on behalf of the Applicants that there are concerted efforts by various parties to distort the true facts of the current court action by inter alia advising pensioners not to support the action as it was allegedly a scam. This conduct is deplored, is clearly opportunistic and seriously jeopardises the interests of all pensioners who has suffered due to the precarious state of their current pensions.

All Transnet Pensioners are again advised that Mrs Wynanda Coetzee of the attorneys Geyser & Coetzee Attorneys acts on behalf of the Applicants and that the application has been issued under case number 25095/13 in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. Mrs Coetzee can be contacted at

(012) 663 5247/8 or 083 2812039 or email at lawteam@iafrica.com or geysercoetzeeattorneys@gmail.com

It is further categorically stated that the application has no political motive and was not instituted by or at the behest or on behalf of any political party or non-governmental organisation. The Transnet pensioners are hereby emphatically given the assurance that no party political interference will be tolerated and that at all times only the best interests of the pensioners are sought.

Pensioners are accordingly again called up to sms their details to the undermentioned number in order to receive updates on the matter. It should be noted that pensioners are not required to make any donation of whatsoever nature when forwarding their relevant pensioner details to the number here under. Further information may be accessed at the following website: www.geysercoetzee.co.za

The sms should be forwarded to 45509 TRANSNET (space) Pension number (space) Surname.

Issued by:

Wynanda Coetzee

Geyser & Coetzee Attorneys

Tel: (012) 663 5247/8

 

TRANSNET PENSIONERS PRESS RELEASE 27 APRIL 


TRANSNET PENSIONERS LAUNCHES R85 BILLION CLASS ACTION AGAINST TRANSNET

On 5 February 1988 the erstwhile State President, during his opening address of the Parliament, confirmed that the South African Transport Services would be set on the road towards being managed and operated as an ordinary business enterprise.

In respect to the pension funds in existence at the time the Government gave firm undertakings that service benefits of employees would not in any way be changed by the formation of a company. As far as the pension fund was concerned the Government reiterated that the pension fund at the time was established in terms of an Act of Parliament and the Fund was legally committed to pay the benefits to which a member would be entitled at the time of his retirement.

It was specifically undertaken that benefits would only be adjusted if it is to the advantage of the members and accordingly the establishment of Transnet, the legal successor of the South African Transport Services, would not change or affect members of the South African Transport Services’ pension fund benefits.

In addition to the usual annual 2% increase in pensions, the Government explicitly undertook that, as in the past, higher increases would be granted to enable them to counter the effects of inflation. In view of these undertakings all the members of the South African Transport Services remained members of the Transnet Pension Fund being the successor in title to the pension funds then in existence.

In addition to the undertakings section 16 of the Legal Succession Act South African Transport Services Act, 1989 provided fundamental guarantees relating the obligations of the South African Transport Services pension funds which were subsequently disestablished with the formation of Transnet. The guarantees included all obligations of the South African Transport Services in respect of its pension funds. On 1 April 1990 the obligation of the South African Transport Services towards the pension fund was actuarially determined at R17.180 billion which amount became a liability of Transnet. This debt was colloquially known as the legacy debt.

In order to redeem the debt towards the pension fund Transnet issued T011 stock to the value of R10 394 million. The T011 stocks were guaranteed by the State and were the most important asset of the Fund. It was a fixed–interest stock with coupon payments of 16.5% p.a. payable monthly in arrears and would continue until maturity on 31 March 2010. The balance of the legacy debt, approximately R 6.786 billion, remained unsecured and unpaid at the time and despite the clear imperative to pay interest on the legacy debt the coupon rate of the T011 stock did not adequately reflect capital and or interest redemption on this debt. The result was that the legacy debt increased every year and in the period 1993 – 1994 Transnet could no longer guarantee the financial viability of the pension fund. It was therefore incumbent on the State to honour the statutory guarantee in these circumstances.

Despite numerous requests to address the financial woes of the pension fund Transnet and the State refused to comply with the statutory imperatives contained in the legislation. Not only did the State fail in its constitutional mandate the responsible Minister also failed to comply with the imperatives contained in the Rules of the Fund and seemingly have resolved that in view of the high mortality rate of pensioners the problem would solve itself.

The legacy debt owing to the Transnet Pension Fund with 12% p.a. compound interest has grown to R34, 211 billion as at 31 March 2013. In respect of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund the deficit in respect of the legacy debt has grown to R45, 752 billion as at 31 March 2013.

On 1 November 2000 the pensioner members of the Transnet Fund were transferred and ring fenced in the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and 58% of the assets of the Transnet Pension Fund devolved upon and vested in the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund. The remainder of the assets and liabilities (42%) devolved upon the Transnet Pension Fund.

During October 2000 and upon the request of Transnet a resolution was passed by the Investment Committee of the Transnet Pension Fund to cancel the Fund’s holding of T011 bonds subject to:

- Transnet Limited confirming that it guarantees the employer obligation towards the Fund; and

- The Government of South Africa confirming that it guarantees the obligation of Transnet Limited towards the Fund.

The T011 stocks issued by Transnet were transferred to the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund on 15 December 2000.

Without the above guarantees being honoured Transnet unilaterally cancelled the T011 stock in February 2001 in exchange for 75 million M-Cell shares. The upshot of this transaction was that the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund was stripped of its cash flow and assets which it required to foot the objects of the Fund that being to provide benefits for pensioner members and beneficiaries of the Fund.

This conduct by the Investment Committee acting in concert with Transnet caused a strain to the Fund of R4, 869 billion. In total, T011 bonds worth R7, 7 billion were cancelled, saving Transnet Limited R1, 2 billion per annum in interest and R7,3 billion in redemption payments. The Fund failed to get any dividends from these shares as the shares were held in a Trust of which the Fund was allegedly a beneficiary. The shares were sold in 2006 and the cumulative loss that was suffered by the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund in the process amounts to approximately R5, 498 billion.

Shortly before the pensioner members of the Transnet Pension Fund were transferred to the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund (1 November 2000) the Trustees entered into an agreement with Transnet to split the surplus in the fund which surplus was created by the reduction of member benefits. In terms of the agreement Transnet would receive 40% of the surplus (R632 million) which amounted to R252 million on the understanding the Transnet would apply the surplus it received to the advantage of pensioner members. This never materialized.

To date Transnet refuses to pay the outstanding legacy debt and the State has also adopted the attitude that it will not honour the guarantee as the problem would eventually solve itself. In this process the State and Transnet would have gained substantial financial benefit from the refusal to defray the debt owed to the Funds.

Over many years the plight of the Transnet pensioners were brought to the attention of Transnet, the Minister of Finance, the President as well as the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee. Despite the acknowledgement by the Portfolio Committee of the dire circumstances of pensioners and the need to alleviate their plight no steps were taken to date to alleviate the plight of the approximately 65 000 pensioners affected by the mismanagement of the fund by the Trustees acting in concert with Transnet.

Currently 80% of the pensioners earn less that R4000 per month and 62% less than R2500 per month. The most shocking figure is that 45 % of pensioners earn less that the State Old Age Pension! There are currently numerous pensioners who receive a net pension of R1 per month as they, despite the undertakings by Government, no longer enjoy the benefits, such as a free medical aid, as these benefits were discontinued on the insistence of Transnet.

In the process the benefits of the members have been severely reduced which reduction solely benefits Transnet. This appalling state of affairs reflects the plight of a high percentage of the members of the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund which plight is further exacerbated by the fact that the pensioners are by and large over 70 years of age, can no longer find gainful employment and in some instances have deteriorating health.

The result of the mismanagement of the Fund(s) over the last 20 years is that the vast majority of pensioners live an undignified life often needing to beg for the most basic means which substantially impairs their right to social security. A number of pensioner members have committed suicide as a direct result of the fact that they find themselves unable to live with dignity, meaningfully and constructively in a society that recognises them as important sources of knowledge, wisdom and expertise.

Attached hereto are comparative graphs which prove the impoverishment of Transnet Pensioners as opposed to pensioner members of the Government Employees Pension Fund. The Court will be requested to recognise the substantive pension benefit expectation of members and the realignment and adjustment of pensions to soften inflationary pressures that members had to endure over the last 25 years.

In view of the current state of affairs the two members of the respective funds have launched an application to the North Gauteng High Court in order to request the Court to sanction the institution of a class action against the funds and Transnet.

Transnet Pension members are requested to indicate their support for this application and are requested to send an SMS message to the number 45509 with the following details TRANSNET (space) PENSION NUMBER (space) SURNAME. (Please note that an SMS to this number will cost the sender R1.50)

Pensioners of the respective funds are called upon to support the Court application and are again reminded that this matter is not a political but a humanitarian issue which impacts directly on the social security of all pensioners.

Members who do not support the court action will be given the opportunity to opt out of the process by giving of notice to the attorneys for the Applicants at the address set out hereunder.

Members may also contact the attorneys of the Applicants or liaise with the Transnet Pension Action Group (TPAG) for further information.

Issued by by Wynanda Coetzee

Geyser & Coetzee Attorneys

Tel 0832812039 or 012 6635247/8

Email lawteam@iafrica.com OR geysercoetzeeattorneys@gmail.com

 TRANSNET PENSIONERS LAUNCHES R85 BILLION CLASS ACTION AGAINST TRANSNET

 PRESS RELEASE

TRANSNET PENSIONER CLASS ACTION

On 27 April 2013 pensioners of the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund issued a Class Action application in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.


The present  Class Action Application at this point in time is merely a request to the Court on behalf of all the Transnet Pensioners for permission for their case to be heard by the Court on behalf of all the pensioners together. It does not deal with the merits of the claims of the Pensioners regarding their pensions as such.  The alternative would have been be for each of the 65000 Pensioners to individually lodge their own case.  This would have been an impossible task.

If the present Class Action Application is successful, the next step in the legal process will be a further Court Application on  the actual  merits of the claims of the Pensioners.


The Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund have now filed answering affidavits.  Transnet, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Public Enterprises have as a result of the voluminous nature of the matter requested a postponement to file answering affidavits.  Transnet has also filed a notice requesting all the financial statements, actuarial reports and minutes of meetings of the respective funds in order to assist them in answering the application. 

Issued by:

Geyser & Coetzee Attorneys

  On 5 February 1988 the erstwhile State President, during his opening address of the Parliament, confirmed that the South African Transport Services would be set on the road towards being managed and operated as an ordinary business enterprise. 

 

In respect to the pension funds in existence at the time the Government gave firm undertakings that service benefits of employees would not in any way be changed by the formation of a company.  As far as the pension fund was concerned the Government reiterated that the pension fund at the time was established in terms of an Act of Parliament and the Fund was legally committed to pay the benefits to which a member would be entitled at the time of his retirement. 

 

It was specifically undertaken that benefits would only be adjusted if it is to the advantage of the members and accordingly the establishment of Transnet, the legal successor of the South African Transport Services, would not change or affect members of the South African Transport Services’ pension fund benefits. 

 

In addition to the usual annual 2% increase in pensions, the Government explicitly undertook that, as in the past, higher increases would be granted to enable them to counter the effects of inflation.  In view of these undertakings all the members of the South African Transport Services remained members of the Transnet Pension Fund being the successor in title to the pension funds then in existence.

 

In addition to the undertakings section 16 of the Legal Succession Act South African Transport Services Act, 1989 provided fundamental guarantees relating the obligations of the South African Transport Services pension funds which were subsequently disestablished with the formation of Transnet.      The guarantees included all obligations of the South African Transport Services in respect of its pension funds.  On 1 April 1990 the obligation of the South African Transport Services towards the pension fund was actuarially determined at R17.180 billion which amount became a liability of Transnet.  This debt was colloquially known as the legacy debt. 

 

In order to redeem the debt towards the pension fund Transnet issued T011 stock to the value of R10 394 million. The T011 stocks were guaranteed by the State and were the most important asset of the Fund.  It was a fixed–interest stock with coupon payments of 16.5% p.a. payable monthly in arrears and would continue until maturity on 31 March 2010.  The balance of the legacy debt, approximately R 6.786 billion, remained unsecured and unpaid at the time and despite the clear imperative to pay interest on the legacy debt the coupon rate of the T011 stock did not adequately reflect capital and or interest redemption on this debt.  The result was that the legacy debt increased every year and in the period 1993 – 1994 Transnet could no longer guarantee the financial viability of the pension fund.  It was therefore incumbent on the State to honour the statutory guarantee in these circumstances.   

 

Despite numerous requests to address the financial woes of the pension fund Transnet and the State refused to comply with the statutory imperatives contained in the legislation.  Not only did the State fail in its constitutional mandate the responsible Minister also failed to comply with the imperatives contained in the Rules of the Fund and seemingly have resolved that in view of the high mortality rate of pensioners the problem would solve itself.  

 

The legacy debt owing to the Transnet Pension Fund with 12% p.a. compound interest has grown to R34, 211 billion as at 31 March 2013.  In respect of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund the deficit in respect of the legacy debt has grown to R45, 752 billion as at 31 March 2013.

 

On 1 November 2000 the pensioner members of the Transnet Fund were transferred and ring fenced in the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and 58% of the assets of the Transnet Pension Fund devolved upon and vested in the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund.  The remainder of the assets and liabilities (42%) devolved upon the Transnet Pension Fund. 

 

During October 2000 and upon the request of Transnet a resolution was passed by the Investment Committee of the Transnet Pension Fund to cancel the Fund’s holding of T011 bonds subject to:

 

-       Transnet Limited confirming that it guarantees the    employer obligation towards the                    Fund; and

-       The Government of South Africa confirming that it    guarantees         the obligation of                  Transnet Limited towards the Fund.

 

The T011 stocks issued by Transnet were transferred to the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund on 15 December 2000. 

Without the above guarantees being honoured Transnet unilaterally cancelled the T011 stock in February 2001 in exchange for 75 million M-Cell shares.  The upshot of this transaction was that the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund was stripped of its cash flow and assets which it required to foot the objects of the Fund that being to provide benefits for pensioner members and beneficiaries of the Fund.

 

This conduct by the Investment Committee acting in concert with Transnet caused a strain to the Fund of R4, 869 billion. In total, T011 bonds worth R7, 7 billion were cancelled, saving Transnet Limited R1, 2 billion per annum in interest and R7,3 billion in redemption payments.  The Fund failed to get any dividends from these shares as the shares were held in a Trust of which the Fund was allegedly a beneficiary.  The shares were sold in 2006 and the cumulative loss that was suffered by the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund in the process amounts to approximately  R5, 498 billion.


Shortly before the pensioner members of the Transnet Pension Fund were transferred to the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund       (1 November 2000) the Trustees entered into an agreement with Transnet to split the surplus in the fund which surplus was created by the reduction of member benefits.  In terms of the agreement Transnet would receive 40% of the surplus (R632 million) which amounted to R252 million on the understanding the Transnet would apply the surplus it received to the advantage of pensioner members.  This never materialized. 

 

To date Transnet refuses to pay the outstanding legacy debt and the State has also adopted the attitude that it will not honour the guarantee as the problem would eventually solve itself. In this process the State and Transnet would have gained substantial financial benefit from the refusal to defray the debt owed to the Funds. 

 

Over many years the plight of the Transnet pensioners were brought to the attention of Transnet, the Minister of Finance, the President as well as the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee.  Despite the acknowledgement by the Portfolio Committee of the dire circumstances of pensioners and the need to alleviate their plight no steps were taken to date to alleviate the plight of the approximately 65 000 pensioners affected by the mismanagement of the fund by the Trustees acting in concert with Transnet.  

 

Currently 80% of the pensioners earn less that R4000 per month and 62% less than R2500 per month.  The most shocking figure is that 45 % of pensioners earn less that the State Old Age Pension! There are currently numerous pensioners who receive a net pension of R1 per month as they, despite the undertakings by Government, no longer enjoy the benefits, such as a free medical aid, as these benefits were discontinued on the insistence of Transnet. 

 

In the process the benefits of the members have been severely reduced which reduction solely benefits Transnet.  This appalling state of affairs reflects the plight of a high percentage of the members of the Transport Pension Fund and the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund which plight is further exacerbated by the fact that the pensioners are by and large over 70 years of age, can no longer find gainful employment and in some instances have deteriorating health. 

 

The result of the mismanagement of the Fund(s) over the last 20 years is that the vast majority of pensioners live an undignified life often needing to beg for the most basic means which substantially impairs their right to social security.  A number of pensioner members have committed suicide as a direct result of the fact that they find themselves unable to live with dignity, meaningfully and constructively in a society that recognises them as important sources of knowledge, wisdom and expertise.

 

Attached hereto are comparative graphs which prove the impoverishment of Transnet Pensioners as opposed to pensioner members of the Government Employees Pension Fund.  The Court will be requested to recognise the substantive pension benefit expectation of members and the realignment and adjustment of pensions to soften inflationary pressures that members had to endure over the last 25 years. 

 

In view of the current state of affairs the two members of the respective funds have launched an application to the North Gauteng High Court in order to request the Court to sanction the institution of a class action against the funds and Transnet. 

 

Transnet Pension members are requested to indicate their support for this application and are requested to send an SMS message to the number 45509 with the following details TRANSNET (space) PENSION NUMBER (space) SURNAME. (Please note that an SMS to this number will cost the sender R1.50)

 

Pensioners of the respective funds are called upon to support the Court application and are again reminded that this matter is not a political but a humanitarian issue which impacts directly on the social security of all pensioners. 

Members who do not support the court action will be given the opportunity to opt out of the process by giving of notice to the attorneys for the Applicants at the address set out hereunder. 

 

Members may also contact the attorneys of the Applicants or liaise with the Transnet Pension Action Group (TPAG) for further information.

 

Issued by by Wynanda Coetzee

 Geyser & Coetzee Attorneys

 Tel  0832812039  or 012 6635247/8                                      

Email lawteam@iafrica.com  OR geysercoetzeeattorneys@gmail.com