To: Finance Minister Mboweni, Standing Committee on Finance and Select Committee on Finance

Tell Tito Mboweni to give all pensioners a bonus in December

Members of the Pietermaritzburg Pensioners Forum

We the undersigned call on you to give all pensioners in South Africa a double pension of R3 400 in December. The Standing Committee on Finance should consider each of the undersigned names as an individual submission.

We join the call with civil society organisations who are advocating that budgets are a political tool and that prioritisation of revenue is required to deal with our most urgent political problems. Government does have the money to cover a bonus in December for all pensioners.

Why is this important?

The majority of pensioners in South Africa when they worked did not earn enough to support their families and save for their retirement. When they reached retirement age, their only option is to go onto the state old-age pension. The massive levels of unemployment together with the VAT hike, and massive hikes in food, transport and electricity has put enormous pressure on the pension.

Pensions, like wages, bring income into the home. The old-age grant is R1 700 a month which supports entire families making it a poverty-level grant. 3,5 million pensioners receive this pension. Because this year has been so hard, and the value of the pension is so low; Christmas and January are going to be very difficult. More money is needed to buy food as children are home from school and are always hungry and school uniforms, shoes, books, stationery need to be secured for the new school year.

Even though pensioners try and put money aside by sacrificing their own needs during the year because of the increased financial pressure and deepening unemployment crisis; pensioners will have to go into deeper levels of debt to support their families. Pensioners are very worried that the extent of the debt will push them into ever deeper levels of poverty.

Pensioners feel that a 13th cheque in December will help them absorb some of the pressures of these extra expenses over the December and January period and allow families to be in a better position come January and the New School year. Already Pensioners travelled to Parliament and spoke to MPs about their demands [1] [2].

If enough of us come together we can support the Pensioners call for economic justice and dignity.

[1] Gogos Call for better pension, Nokuthula khanyile for News24, 31 October 2018.

[2] https://www.power987.co.za/news/mtbps-gogos-wants-christmas-bonus-from-tito-mboweni/

South Africa

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Reasons for signing

  • This is the very least the government could do for our pensioners. It is bad enough that we are all struggling but it is so much harder when you have to survive in R1700 per month!
  • I think it's pathetic what our seniors get from this government. Really make Christmas Special to them as well.
  • Pensioners deserve a bonus