Ntlo Ya Dikgosi has rejected a motion from Chief Kgosidialwa Moalosi of Tonota region to request government to liaise with local banks to allow pensioners to be granted loans.
Moalosi told members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi to support his motion arguing that local banks are refusing to assist pensioners particularly after their mandatory retirement at the age of 60 years.
He said local banks usually “milked active government employees” but when they reach their retirement age they turn against them and refuse to assist them without even accessing their financial muscle.
”I understand that most of Dikgosi suffer financial predicament and need to be given loans to extend or improve their livelihoods after serving government. We need to borrow money from local banks and buy some agricultural equipment to start our own businesses and to be rejected by a bank that has been assisting you while a government employee is totally unacceptable,” said Moalosi.
Kgosi Thebe Makwa of Moshupa agreed with Moalosi arguing that local banks should assist pensioners looking at their savings accounts and not just reject on the basis that a person is no longer working for government and has reached a retirement age.
Kgosi Galeakanye Modise of Tswapong differed with them arguing that Dikgosi should prepare themselves in time looking at their age. He said they should start buying agricultural or any business related material well in time than to wait and ask for loans after retirement.
When responding, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo said it was not true that local banks refuse to assist pensioners.
”I think Kgosi Moalosi is being economical with the truth in his motion because as much as I’m aware there is no law stopping banks to reject pensioners or client account holders who have reached the retirement age,” said Matambo.
Matambo warned Dikgosi and the general public to desist from using their agricultural fields and residential plots as security to banks as that is a risk that can lead to poverty.
”I don’t want to see any member of Dikgosi registered under poverty eradication scheme but I urge you to produce tangible evidence to get funding from banks. I really agree with Kgosi Modise that government employees and Dikgosi should prepare themselves and practice proper savings to avoid asking for loans after retirement age.
Matambo warned them to avoid risk of being homeless after the age of 60 years adding that Dikgosi are regarded as gatekeepers and role models in the society and should lead by example.