The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA) welcomes the announcement by the Department of Labour that it is to undertake a turnaround strategy to get to the root of the problems facing the Workmen’s Compensation Fund. The initiative is aimed at addressing service delivery and putting business processes, systems and people under the spotlight.
‘We welcome this response from the Labour Department, as the Compensation Fund has been facing a number of challenges dating back many years. However we await the actual results from this undertaking’, says Gerhard Papenfus, NEASA CEO
It’s a well-known fact that the Fund’s problems mainly revolve around the backlog in processing claims, revenue collection, low staff morale, poor communication with stakeholders, debt management, fraud and corruption, liability of employers in terms of fines for non-compliance and recoveries, compliance with the Public Finance Management Act as well as expenditure management.
NEASA has received regular complaints from its members around the services provided by the Compensation Fund. This include the fact that telephones are not answered, letters of good standing are not issued and therefore result in the loosing of tenders, as well as the fact that the return on earnings are not processed leading to penalties.
‘In the light of the enormity of issues at the Compensation’s Fund, we feel it’s appropriate that a decision was made to conduct a forensic audit. This will go a long way to help the Fund understand the root cause of inefficiencies and the extent of fraud within the organisation’, says Papenfus.
We realise that our members, however, need short term solutions to the challenges that they are facing with regard to the Compensation Fund.
‘We are exploring various avenues to assist our members. This could include addressing the Commissioner of the Compensation Fund directly with regard to the issues that our members are encountering. This is to get an indication from the Commission as to how the Fund intends to deal with these individual matters ’, Papenfus said.
In the meantime, NEASA’s hotline has been made available to its members to answer related questions.
For more information:
Sya van der Walt
082 332 9512