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Busa: Cosatu plan to use pension funds to save Eskom mustn't affect taxpayers

Under the proposal, funds from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Public Investment Corporation, the Development Financing Institution and Development Bank of Southern Africa entities would be used to service 50% of Eskom's over R400 billion debt.

Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Thursday said while it had endorsed the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)'s plan for workers’ pension funds to be used to bail out Eskom, it shouldn’t happen at the cost of taxpayers.

The labour federation said it was happy that business and government had endorsed the proposal, which would see a special purpose vehicle put together to include the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Public Investment Corporation, the Development Financing Institution and Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Under the proposal, funds from those entities would be used to service 50% of Eskom's over R400 billion debt.

Busa's Martin Kingston said they agreed to the plan on a few conditions.

“It shouldn’t compromise the mandate of those institutions, it shouldn’t undermine the responsibilities and fiduciaries of the trustees. It should in no way undermine the risk-adjusted return.”

He said taxpayers must not be affected.

“But in the case certainly of the PIC and the GEPF, if there is going to be a cost [paid for] by taxpayers, then that is certainly an issue that we will need to look and scrutinise very carefully.”

Cosatu said the funds would be allocated, provided there was a commitment that the power utility won’t be privatised and that jobs won’t be lost.

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