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PIC board must be dissolved, urges PSA

Aug 19 2018 19:00

The Public Servants Association (PSA) is calling for the appointment of a new Public Investment Corporation (PIC) board, saying it should include labour representatives.

This follows an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to institute an inquiry into the governance of PIC.

According to the National Treasury, the commission’s terms of reference will include a review of the PIC’s governance and operating model, possible changes to the PIC’s founding legislation and its Memorandum of Incorporation and investment decision-making framework.

The announcement of the inquiry comes shortly after Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene informed the PIC's board of an independent inquiry into the PIC’s governance issues.

The PIC has been under the spotlight due to some controversial investment decisions, and allegations of impropriety surrounding its CEO Dan Matjila for allegedly using PIC funds to help out the business of a woman said to be his romantic partner, Pretty Louw.
 
The PSA has been vocal about demanding accountability from the PIC, which manages around R2.2trn, the majority of which is workers’ pension funds.

"[T]he PSA wants the PIC board to be dissolved and a new board should be appointed that includes labour representatives."

The inclusion of labour on the board will assist as labour’s main interest is public servants, said PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks in a statement on Friday.

The PSA also commented on the recent resignations by non-executive board members, expressing concerns about details revealed in a resignation letter by non-executive director Tantaswa Fubu.

"Ms Fabu, in her letter to the Minister of Finance, stated that some of her reasons for stepping down from the PIC board include unclear agendas by the board, allegations and counter allegations against each other in the board, the Deputy Minister of Finance who is chairperson of the PIC board not following proper procedures in meetings and using one-side information and minutes not board approved to conduct meetings," explained Frederick.

"Political interference erodes the integrity of the PIC board and should be eliminated," he said.

"The PSA has continuously raised its concern on, amongst others, the formation of the PIC board and the carte blanche given to the PIC by the GEPF with public servants’ pension investments."

The union also turned to the courts to file an application for notice of motion at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to address its concerns, arguing a lack of meaningful action by the finance ministry, the PIC and the GEPF about concerns it raised.

"The PSA hopes that the commissioned inquiry by the President, owing to the serious of the matter, will make haste with this matter to ensure that taxpayers’ money is not wasted on a protracted process without meaningful results.

"The PSA also calls upon for non-political influenced inquiry by a team of persons of high integrity as a lot is at stake should the ill-governance of this institution not be addressed urgently," said Fredericks.

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