Gigaba: Treasury not looking to use PIC funds to bail out SOEs

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says these reports are untrue as no formal or informal request has been sent to the PIC for such funds.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba makes a point at the World Economic Forum Africa meeting in Durban. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says he is concerned about media reports that the National Treasury wants to use R100 billion of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC)’s funds to bail out state-owned enterprises.

Gigaba says these reports are untrue as no formal or informal request has been sent to the PIC for such funds.

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says Gigaba’s decision to keep Dudu Myeni at the helm of the South African Airways (SAA) board is irrational.

The party says her request for a R6 billion bailout from the Public Investment Corporation is another reason why she should be removed as chairperson.

However, Treasury spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete says these reports malicious and unconstructive.

“We find these kinds of calls that have been alleged to come from the PIC CEO quite alarming and quite scary. National Treasury has never asked him to give resources to any ailing SOEs.”

The party’s Alf Lees says that Myeni has run the airline into the ground.

“The company is in severe financial stress. Whether it is legal or not is irrelevant. She has been party to a crumbling SAA. It’s not about legality, it’s about doing the right thing and ensuring the company is being run properly.”

Gigaba insists that the extension of Myeni's contract as chairperson is above board.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance requested an explanation from Gigaba for extending her contract.

He argues that the extension is in line with SAA’s Memorandum of Incorporation and the Companies Act.

The DA believes that the minister’s failure to remove Myeni shows that SAA is clearly not his priority.