Fedusa accuses Gigaba of 'fresh' assault on PIC

Fedusa is reacting to statement by the minister following fears that he planned to dip into government pension funds in order to rescue struggling State Owned Companies.

FILE:  Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) says the statement issued by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is a fresh assault on the institution and its Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Matjila.

The minister released a statement on Friday following fears that he planned to dip into government pension funds in order to rescue struggling State Owned Companies (SOCs)

The unions General Secretary Dennis George says this latest assault comes in the wake of a relentless and concerted campaign to destabilise the PIC in order to find any justifiable grounds to replace its executive leadership.

“We must remind South Africa that Gigaba has been one of the central architects of the state capture project since November 2010 when he was appointed Minister of Public Enterprises. In this portfolio, Gigaba was instrumental in the systematic removal of competent, independent Boards of SOC’s in their entirety, and replacing Board members with Gupta-linked directors, who operationalised the wholesale looting of our SOC’s. The most prominent examples of this repurposing of SOC Boards are Transnet, Eskom and Denel."

The general secretary further reminded Gigaba that a ‘forensic investigation’, which he now wants the PIC to conduct, is the practice of lawfully establishing evidence and facts that are to be presented in a court of law.

“A legitimate forensic investigation requires clear terms of reference: it has to be concerned with specific allegations of specific acts; specific time-frames for alleged irregularities must be set down; and, in the context of the PIC, suspected irregular transactions must be identified to ensure a credible, bona fide process,” he said.

Fedusa says, until now, the PIC had been a well-run, profitable public institution that consistently delivered good returns on investment for its clients whilst receiving clean, unqualified audit reports from the Auditor-General.

The PIC is the biggest institutional investor on the JSE in terms of market capitalisation, it says creating instability in the institution will have far-reaching consequences for the economy.