After nine years of litigation, the class action brought by impoverished pensioners of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit fund has finally produced a court order confirming a settlement.

Beeld reports that Judge Sulette Potterill, of the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria), dismissed objections by some of the pensioners and made the settlement an order of court.

She said the average age of the remaining 52 000 pensioners is 79 and a protracted legal battle is not in their interests.

Potterill conceded the settlement was not perfect, but quoted American, Australian and Canadian case law on class actions to reach a finding that the settlement was just and acceptable given the circumstances.

In terms of the settlement, pensioners will receive three bonus payments of R10 000 over three years and three above-inflation increases.

After that, the fund will aim to increase pensions by 70% of the CPI.

The fund has capped increases at 2% since the early 2000s, notes the report. The pensioners alleged in the class action that they were promised inflation-linked increases in 1989.

Transnet allegedly owes the pension fund R17.18bn for controversial transactions over the years.

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