EFF statement on National Treasury's invasion of the PIC
14 September 2017
The Economic Freedom Fighters condemns the continuing destabilization of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) by the National Treasury. Since the arrival of the current Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba and Deputy Minister of Finance Sifiso Buthelezi, several attempts to steal money from the PIC. The PIC is a fully state-owned asset management company, responsible to manage assets of Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), and Compensation Commission (CC).
Since their appointment, there has been several illegal and undoubtedly wrong directives given to the PIC. These include redirection of BEE deals to people from KwaZulu Natal only. These several illegal and undoubtedly wrong directives also include attempts to raid PIC money to finance poorly managed state-owned entities such as the South African Airways (SAA) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF). When he appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance on the 4th of August 2017, Malusi Gigaba pointed to the intention of taking R6 billion from the PIC in order to bailout SAA. This is despite the fact that there is no comprehensive and believable turnaround strategy from SAA and no intention from Mr Jacob Zuma to remove Ms Dudu Myeni as the Chairperson of the SAA Board despite her reappointment term having ended effective from the 31st of August 2017.
The CEO of the NEF, who is a biological sister of the Deputy Minister of Finance, ex officio chairperson of the PIC as a result of his appointment as a deputy minister, has been putting pressure on the PIC to give R3 billion to the badly run, corrupt and nepotistic NEF. The EFF is worried because as was the case in PRASA where Sifiso Buthelezi gave tenders to his biological brother, who later claimed to be a legitimate businessman, he now wants to do the same at the PIC. More concerning is the fact that PRASA cases are and remain subject to litigation and might lead to arrests and imprisonment for a long time, including that of the Deputy Minister.
It looks like Sifiso Buthelezi wants to continue on that nepotistic path of empowering family members and friends at the expense of tax payers. All the people of South Africa should just closely study the recent Board appointments at the PIC to understand that all were appointed due to proximity to Sifiso Buthelezi, Malusi Gigaba and their business associates. The next step these greedy and nepotistic individuals will do will be to suspend PIC full-time executives. Sifiso Buthelezi has even called an urgent board meeting to suspend the CEO of the PIC and other executives because they are a stumbling block to their looting project.
The EFF calls on all Unions, who represent workers whose pension funds will be looted; the GEPF and all concerned South Africans to be the voice that speaks against the invasion and looting of pension funds of public servants. Pension funds are delayed incomes of workers and should be managed and invested in a prudent and transparent manner with the interest for workers as priorities.
The South African government is dismally failing to collect taxes with an estimated shortfall of R13 billion announced by South Africa Revenue Services (SARS), failing to manage the existing revenue, and has exhausted the reserves. They now want to invade the pension fund which will completely collapse the state and social safety net. We know that the ANC is losing political power, and should not be allowed to destroy South Africa's fiscal integrity and ability to operate as a country that should durable and sustainably provide services to all, in particular, poor and workers.
Issued by Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, National Spokesperson, the Economic Freedom Fighters, 14 September 2017