Manline Freight, a division of Barloworld Transport (Pty) Ltd has temporarily stopped provident fund contributions for its employees in its efforts to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a correspondence seen by SA Trucker, Manline Freight cites the declaration of the National State of Disaster to fight the spread of COVID-19 which subsequently caused a sharp reduction of economic and business activity in various industries for their move.
“The company has engaged the provident fund to temporarily suspend employer and employee contributions for a period of twelve months from May 2020 to April 2021. The suspension is in line with the Provident Fund rules,” said Manline Freight managing director Elvis Rabohale.
“As per fund rules the employer is required to contribute monthly in respect of any amount for administration of the sub-fund and any premium in respect of risk benefits.
“To this end, contributions from an employer in respect of admin fees and risk benefit premiums will continue for the duration of the temporary suspension to ensure that risk benefits can still be honoured,” Rabohale explained.
He added that employees who wish to continue with a voluntary contribution during the period may do so and would have to sign an Additional Voluntary Contribution Form.
Truck drivers who spoke to SA Trucker said they were only surprised to see the provident fund contributions not appearing on their payslips but were not informed prior to the move.
Tirisano Workers Union organising secretary Marjorie Tsema Sesele refused to comment and referred SA Trucker to speak to his boss, but he was not immediately available to comment.
SA Trucker has seen correspondence from Sesele to Manline Freight in which the union agrees to the company’s request to suspend the contributions for the period.
“We fully understand the inconvenience that COVID-19 has caused and we share the similar view that the company can put a moratorium on Provident Fund until the remedy is available at the end of April 2021,” read part of Sesele’s statement.