Speaker, the funds administered by the PIC are in part the pension and provident funds of our public servants.
Speaker, the Congress of the People is on record as having been alarmed at matters concerning the Public Investment Corporation and the pensions of our public servants.
This has included:
• Increasing reports of corrupt and reckless investing by the PIC;
• A lack of effective oversight over the PIC;
• Attempts to capture the PIC as part of the State Capture looting Project;
• The un-representative composition of the PIC Board;
• No transparency and public participation in the appointment of the Board;
• The lack of public sector trade union representation on the board;
• Clear attempts by the ANC-led government to ‘nationalize’ the pension funds administered by the PIC – by wanting to prescribe what ‘assets’ the PIC may invest in; and
• Speculation that PIC funds were being earmarked to bailout government and our SOE’s – to the detriment of the pensions of our public servants;
Speaker, whilst we acknowledge that the Bill presented for adoption does propose some reforms, COPE will not support the Bill in its current form.
We reject the Bill as it proposes to insist that Minister of Finance appoint his deputy as the chair of the PIC board.
Speaker, we have seen the dangers of having a politician – a deployee of the ANC – as the Chair of the PIC.
We support the view of the Honourable David Maynier (as advanced in his Bill) that Parliament should be empowered to consider and make recommendations to the Minister as to who should be appointed Chair of the PIC.
After all that we have gone through with rampant corruption and State Capture, the ANC’s stance on this matter is worrying and sinister.
It proves that if you shroud the wolf in the fleece of a sheep, it remains a wicked wolf at heart.
Secondly, Speaker, we are not convinced that the Bill protects the PIC from the ANC’s desire, as set out in its election manifesto, that government should be empowered to prescribe that pension funds held by asset managers must be invested in government identified projects – such as its failing SOE’s.
Speaker, COPE stands against corruption and for the protection of our public servants’ pensions.
As such, we cannot and will not support this bill.
Issued by The Congress Of People (Parliament).