AMCU Asks Alexander Forbes to Start Fund for South Africa Union

The union that led a five-month strike at the South African operations of the world’s biggest platinum producers appointed Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd. to start a provident fund for its members.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union asked Alexander Forbes “to register and administer on its behalf and its members, the National Umbrella Provident Fund,” Bonga Mokoena, managing director of actuarial and consulting solutions at Africa’s largest independent retirement-fund administrator, said in an e-mailed response to questions Friday.

The union known as AMCU has more than 100,000 members and is seeking alternatives to benefits currently offered to miners in South Africa, the world’s biggest platinum producer.

AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa said May 13 that members’ retirement money should move to a fund where members have a bigger say. Their savings are currently managed by the Mineworkers Provident Fund, which has about 24.8 billion rand ($2 billion) and is sponsored by the National Union of Mineworkers, which competes with the AMCU, and the Chamber of Mines, representing producers.

The AMCU’s membership has swelled since 2012, with the union becoming the majority labor group at the top platinum companies and leading the longest mining strike in South Africa’s history. It claims about 40,000 members in the gold industry, which is set to begin pay talks on June 22.

Both Alexander Forbes and Sanlam Ltd., the largest South Africa-based insurer, took out full-page advertisements in the inaugural issue of the AMCU’s internal communications magazine.

“Should AMCU establish a retirement fund, we would make our value proposition known to the trustees of the fund in order to be amongst the considered service providers,” Ainsley Moos, head of communication at the group, said in an e-mailed response to questions Friday.

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