Magda Wierzycka and prescribed assets: where the IRR stands

Institute says corporates must come clean on where they stand on the issue

Magda Wierzycka and prescribed assets: where the IRR stands

The IRR notes the social media reaction of Magda Wierzycka, CEO of Sygnia Limited, to an open letter from Hermann Pretorius, deputy head of policy research for the IRR.

The letter which Ms. Wierzycka considers to be “blatantly” threatening is a follow-up letter from the IRR regarding the position of Sygnia Asset Management on the issue of prescribed assets. This follow-up letter was sent after no response to the first letter was received.

To quote from the letter in question:

“Silence from corporate South Africa, especially from those intimately involved in asset management, is not acceptable nor tenable. Those whom South Africans have entrusted with their earnings, savings, and pensions have responsibilities, morally, ethically, and legally, to provide clarity on and insight into important governmental policy risks and developments affecting the management of such assets.

It is therefore vital to repeat the core inquiries of the letter of 31 August:

1. Does Sygnia Asset Management believe that prescribed assets as a policy is a serious threat to the finances of ordinary South Africans?

2. If Sygnia Asset Management does not believe prescribed assets to be a serious threat to the finances of ordinary South Africans, why is this the case?

3. If Sygnia Asset Management does believe prescribed assets to be a serious threat to the finances of ordinary South Africans, why is this the case and what steps are being taken by the entity to address this?

4. If a policy of prescribed assets is implemented, will Sygnia Asset Management surrender the assets of ordinary South Africans that are under its management to the government?

Please note that, accompanying correspondential enquiries such as this letter, the IRR will be launching a social media campaign identifying individual corporate entities, such as Sygnia Asset Management, and seeking to provide clarity to members of the public as to whether such entities are likely or unlikely to act in the best interests of their clients in opposing prescribed assets as possible government policy.”

Said Pretorius: “It is regrettable that, too often, corporate South Africa has chosen every trick in the book to remain on the fence on issues such as prescribed assets and expropriation without compensation. South Africans are going through immensely tough times and deserve to know that those they have entrusted with their savings, pensions, and assets will not sell them out to a parasitic government.

“As long as the threat of government expropriation of savings and pensions hangs over South Africans, the IRR will continue fighting for the right of every South African to own rightfully and securely what they have worked hard to earn.”

Statement issued by Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research, 14 September 2020