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Former South Africa miners threaten to hold vigil at Capital Hill

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Some Malawians who worked in mines in South Africa and are currently waiting for their pension remittances have threatened to hold a vigil at Capital Hill to force the government to speed up negotiations with the South African government to process their payments.

The concerned ex-miners feel the matter is dragging because the government is not treating it with the seriousness it apparently deserves

A representative of the concerned ex-miners from Mangochi, Fix Muzonge, said they are concerned that time is going without being informed about what is going on regarding their case.

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“Most of us are old and we risk dying without getting our money if the process will continue delaying. We saw that the government responded positively with the former Malawi Young Pioneer issue but we are surprised that the same government is dragging its feet on our issue,” Muzonge said.

Malawi has around 18,000 people who worked in different mines in South Africa between 1970 and 1990.

For five years now, the government has been facilitating the release of the funds from the South African government.

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At the moment, only 8,000 of the ex-miners have submitted their details to firms handling the payments in the Rainbow Nation.

Commissioner of Labour Hlalerwayo Nyangulu said there have been a lot of negotiations taking place recently.

Chairperson of the ex-miners’ group, John Dick, said during the meeting they had with government officials in January this year, it was agreed that a delegation be sent to South Africa to negotiate the speedy processing of the funds.

Dick, however, said the process has been halted because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

“It is just that we are having difficulties to brief our members because most of them are staying in rural area. However, once the travel ban is lifted, some members of the executive committee will accompany government officials to South Africa for negotiations,” he said.

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