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PIC amendment bill aimed at promoting transparency, good governance

Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance has been given the go-ahead to amend the law governing the Public Investment Corporation.

FILE: Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila. Picture: Public Investment Corporation

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance has been given the go-ahead to amend the law governing the Public Investment Corporation.

Proposed changes to the Public Investment Corporation Act of 2004 include compelling it to disclose its unlisted as well as its listed investments and to give unions up to three seats on the board.

The PIC has come under scrutiny recently over controversial investment decisions.

It manages assets of about two trillion rand, including workers’ savings on behalf of the Government Employees’ Pension Fund.

There is broad support across parties for tighter oversight over the PIC, as Standing Committee on Finance chairperson Yunus Carrim noted:

"All parties in the committee are concerned about some of the investments the PIC is making."

Committee whip, ANC MP Thandi Tobias, says the new amendment bill will ensure all PIC investments are published annually and that there is union representation on the board, because it invests workers' savings.

"The ANC is of the view that, as part of our addressing corruption in general, we need laws that will tighten accountability. Hence the committee’s agreed to look at this specific state-owned company, for better performance."

DA MP David Maynier said he expected the bill to be a carbon copy of the draft private member's bill he introduced in January.

It also aimed at promoting transparency and good governance at the PIC, but also proposed that the PIC chairman be appointed by the Finance Minister on the recommendation of the National Assembly.

The new amendment bill will be a committee effort.

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