Cosatu on using workers’ pensions for SOEs: ‘It’s an investment, not a bailout’

The trade union federation said it wanted a special purpose vehicle to put together to include the UIF, PIC, Development Financing Institution and Development Bank to take over 50% of Eskom’s debt.

A screengrab of Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu said if workers’ pension funds were not used to help pluck Eskom out of a financial hole, then jobs would be lost, which would affect the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

The trade union federation said it wanted a special purpose vehicle put together to include the UIF, Public Investment Corporation, Development Financing Institution and Development Bank of Southern Africa to take over 50% of Eskom’s debt.

That would amount to over R200 billion.

Cosatu’s proposal has been described as controversial and risky in some quarters. But the trade union federation’s Sizwe Pamla said, on the contrary, this would benefit workers.

‘It’s an investment, not a bailout.”

Pamla doesn’t believe the workers’ pension funds will be overly exposed, as there is no guarantee the money will be recovered.

“We created a plan and two federations are on board. They’ve all agreed that this is workable.”

He said workers’ pension funds must bail out SOEs only if there is a commitment that companies won’t be prioritised and that jobs won’t be lost.