SOUTH AFRICA - Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) general secretary Clive Dunston has rebuked South African Local Government Associations' (SALGA) claims the current pension fund system had racist elements as a move to drum up support for its newly-created pension fund.
SALGA said its decision to create a single pension fund - the Local Government Pension Fund - was informed by the “historical realities” of the local government sector.
SALGA labour relations head Lindokuhle Dlamini said the sector currently had around 50 pension funds, but claimed the majority of those were created to “cater mainly for white employees”, with huge contribution rates that were not in synch with the market realities in terms of retirement funding.
“It is this context that SALGA took a resolution to restructure retirement funding in the sector,” said Dlamini.
But Dunston dismissed the notion race was an element of the current pension dispute, and accused SALGA of “playing the race card” to drum up support for the move.
“Anyone can join any of the funds in local government. It is just dependent on affordability, and people can make a decision to join based on their own unique situation, what they can spend on or save for. It has nothing to do with race,” he said.
The statements were made as municipal workers and SALGA battle over the validity of the new fund. Unions claims SALGA was trying to force the new fund onto them and threatened strikes and legal action in response.
But SALGA said collective negotiations negotiations had continually failed, and has stood by “the employers right to restructure the provision of services.”
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