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National Assembly approves PIC Amendment Bill

The Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill is a response to the allegations of dubious investments that have rocked the PIC.

Picture: pic.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly has approved a Bill aimed at improving governance, transparency and accountability at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).

Drawn up by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance, the Bill will now go to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for its approval.

The African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) backed the Bill.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) and some other opposition parties did not, with the DA claiming it was a bid to realise, through the back door, the ANC’s elections manifesto promise to introduce prescribed assets.

This could see pension funds compelled to invest in social and economic development projects.

The Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill is a response to the allegations of dubious investments that have rocked the PIC and that are now the focus of a judicial inquiry headed by retired Judge Lex Mpati.

It provides for union and pension fund representation on the PIC board, which will still be chaired by the deputy minister of finance or another deputy minister from the economics cluster.

Details of investments, listed and unlisted, will be published annually if the Bill becomes law.

But the DA and other opposition parties don’t want a politician chairing the board, while the requirement that the PIC invests in line with the government’s development agenda was flagged during debate on the Bill by the DA’s Alf Lees.

“The Democratic Alliance will not support the Bill with the inclusion, by stealth, of prescribed assets and the entrenchment of political control of the PIC board.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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