NCOP must now pass PIC Amendment Bill - COSATU

Federation says Bill is one of the most progressive, anti-corruption and pro-worker bills since 1994

COSATU Applauds the National Assembly for adopting the PIC Amendment Bill and we now call on the NCOP to pass it

27 February 2019  

COSATU commends the National Assembly for adopting the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Amendment Bill at its sitting today.  The federation fully supports the PIC Amendment Bill. 

The NCOP must now be allowed to pass the PIC Amendment Bill before it rises on March 28.  The federation is aware of certain powerful individuals who are trying to interfere in the NCOP with the intention to collapse the PIC Bill by raising obscure administrative obstacles. They are doing this with the hope that it will be too late for the NCOP to pass it before it rises.  COSATU wants to warn those individuals that workers are watching and will not tolerate any attempts to kill the PIC Bill.

This bill is one of the most progressive, anti-corruption and pro-worker bills since 1994.  It is badly needed given the avalanche of looting that is being exposed at the PIC Commission of Enquiry established by the President.

The PIC funds are workers’ hard-earned monies since 87% of the PIC is public servants’ pension money, 7% is UIF and 2% is COIDA.  It is not a slush fund for morally defunct politicians, their parasitic relatives and corrupt business persons, nor is it petty cash for a state bankrupted by the looting brigades.

There have been too many stories of looting at the PIC.  Reports now indicate that the GEPF may have a projected R25 billion shortfall in the future.  This will threaten the budget as the state is the guarantor of public servants’ pensions.

We commend the ANC MPs and Finance Committee who have done excellent work in drafting the PIC Amendment Bill.  The PIC Bill provides for:

Union selected representation on the PIC Board in order to ensure workers have a voice in how their money is being invested and an eye to prevent its theft;

Comprehensive accountability and transparency mechanisms for the PIC to report on all its investments and instructions from the government to its depositors (GEPF, UIF etc), Treasury, Parliament and the public; and

Investment guidelines to ensure that the PIC takes its mandate from its depositors, protects the assets of depositors and the monies of workers and invests in a financially sustainable manner, supports job creation, local economic development, sustainable development, public infrastructure etc.

The current PIC Act does none of these, it, in fact, gives a blank cheque to the Finance Minister to appoint the board and issue an instruction to the PIC.  The PIC is too large at R2 trillion to be allowed to go the route of Eskom.  If the PIC collapses, the entire economy will go under. 

There has been massive resistance to this bill by individuals with vested interests in the PIC’s funds.  Comrades have looted, are looting and want to continue to loot.  COSATU will stop at nothing to protect the PIC Amendment Bill and fight to stop the pillaging of workers’ monies.

COSATU’s demands are simple: 

- The NCOP must be allowed to pass the bill unhindered by March 28 2019.

- The President sign it into law as soon as the NCOP passes it.

No delays or compromises will be acceptable to COSATU.  Those who are resisting the PIC Bill be they in the PIC, Luthuli House or Treasury; must know they are provoking a confrontation with workers and COSATU.

Those from the ANC Caucus, who are trying to sabotage the bill must know that workers are watching them.  We will expose them and pushback against their version of state capture. We are tired of selfish politicians who are paying lip service to the fight against corruption while they are hiding their real agendas.

Issued by Matthew Parks, Parliamentary Coordinator, 27 February 2019