THERE was pomp and fanfare at Yeoville Recreation Centre, last Saturday as the Migrants Workers Union of South Africa (MIWUSA) and Ness Consulting launched the MIWUSA Heritage Funeral Plan, which will initially help Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa in time of their bereavement.
“As Africans we at Ness Consulting realize the importance of having your bones buried in your home country. Though I am South African myself, if I was working elsewhere outside my home country I would want the same, thus why we have decided to give migrants a cheap option to have their body repatriated” says Ness Consulting product development manager Thabang Motea.
Migrants can be covered from between R15 000 to R35 000. The first phase of the funeral plan will initially only cover Zimbabwean migrants and their immediate families but will be later extended to other migrants living in South Africa.
“MIWUSA’s core function is to enhance the lives of migrants in South Africa, but we have managed to make this unique product available to Zimbabweans, through Sanlam Zimbabwe,” explains Motea.
The plan, which is currently only from R85 (depending on how much cover a client wants) covers the client, their spouse and up to five of their children
“Right now it only covers the immediate family but we are working to include the extended family given that we understand that Africans have extended families beyond the Eurocentric concept of family, but we have had to start from somewhere,” says Motea, adding his company is working to make the product bigger and better.
The plan which was mooted by MIWUSA is being administered by Ness Consulting and is underwritten by leading financial services provider Sanlam.
Motea says to give clients flexibility, clients are given their benefits in cash and clients can then decide for themselves how they want to use the money.
“That is how we are different from other companies because we don’t dictate which service providers, clients should use but can refer them to service providers,” adds Motea.
Motea also told the crowd, that had gathered at the launch, which was officiated by various Ness Consulting employees and Miwusa officials that all one needed to qualify besides being less than 84 years of age was a passport showing that they had entered South Africa.
“Prospective members need only to have a valid passport showing that they entered the country legally, largely to prevent fraud, “ says Motea, who also went to great lengths to explain that his company believed in African unity and is open to doing business with migrants from any African country as “we are one.”
Motea says if a client’s documents were in order in takes a maximum of 48 hours to process the claim.
He also said coverage is cheaper for those who sign up for the plan as a group, adding that the company will be soon launching phase 2 of the plan.
Also present at the launch was MIWUSA, general secretary Mandla Masuka and his secretary general Sindiso Moyo, who also underlined the need for migrants to take up the plan.
Migrants mostly from Zimbabwe, were treated to a sumptuous meal, free T-shirts and two lucky participants, who included www.zimsinsa editor and founder also won free cellphones at a raffle, which was held just before the end of the launch ceremony.
For more information about Heritage Funeral Plan call Mandla Masuku on 071 050 5602 – Patience Rusere