4.5.1 Pensions

There is at present no national pension scheme, but a government appointed committee is examining the issue. Apart form pension funds operated for civil servants, the state provides social pensions, old age pensions, pensions for the blind, disability pensions and war veterans' pensions. Private pension funds are operated by employers and administered in various ways, often by insurance companies. Pension funds are subject to statutory regulation, and contributions to a pension fund are usually made by both employer and employee.

4.5.2 Unemployment Insurance

The Unemployment Insurance Fund provides benefits for people who are out of work and for the dependants of deceased contributors. Tax-free benefits are distributed at the rate of 45% of previous earnings (provided certain criteria are met).

Illness and maternity benefits are also paid. Revenues are obtained from the contributions of employees whose annual incomes do not exceed a certain level (currently R69 420), their employers and the State.

4.5.3 Workmen's Compensation

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act compels employers to insure their employees against industrial accidents or illness that could result in death or disability. The Act provides for the compulsory cover of employees.

4.5.4 Medical Aid

South Africa does not have a national medical insurance scheme. Private medical aid schemes are operated under the Medical Schemes Act and cover most types of medical expenses in accordance with the scales of benefits (tariffs) established by each scheme, which are revised from time to time. These expenses including the costs of private medical and dental services, prescribed medicines, and hospital and nursing home fees. Contributions are usually made by both employer and employee, in equal shares. The scales of benefits usually do not equal the charges actually levied. The excess must be borne directly by the patient. A number of insurance schemes are available to cover these excesses and other medical expenses which are not provided for by the medical aid schemes.

For further information please contact: 

Werksmans Attorneys 

Werksmans Chambers, 22 Girton Road, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193 
P.O. Box 927, Johannesburg 2000 South Africa

Enquiries:        Mr Charles Butler
Telephone         27 (011) 488-0000
Telefax           27 (011) 484-3100/3200
E-Mail Address    cbutler@werksmans.co.za