JOHANNESBURG, July 29 – The United National Transport Union (UNTU) on Friday said it has lodged a complaint against Sizwe Medical Fund with the Council of Medical Schemes over its recent election of trustees alleged to be conflicted.
The union, which is demanding an urgent probe, alleges that Sizwe’s voting process of its newly elected trustees was irregular because most of them are shop stewards of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).
“If these allegations are proven, it will be unfair and unconstitutional because it will limit and compromise the quality of running an objective board in the best interest of the fund and ultimately in the best interest of its members. The quality of being objective is in contravention of the rules of the scheme,” UNTU said in a statement released by its media, liaison and communication officer, Sonja Carstens.
UNTU said at the annual general meeting of the fund, the newly elected trustees deliberately kept silent on their involvement in Numsa investments made to Sechaba Medical Solutions – the administrator for Sizwe Medical Fund.
The union said the newly elected “Numsa-board” will not be able to exercise their impartiality and neutrality as they “largely have vested unscrupulous interest in the fund”.
Steve Harris, general secretary of UNTU, says the union believes Numsa has an unfair advantage as it has access to Sechaba Medical Solutions and to its in-house brokerage called Numsa Financial Services.
“UNTU believes the Council of Medical Schemes should investigate allegations and declare the elections of the trustee null and void if the allegations are proven to be correct,” said Harris.