PIC Bill falls short in some areas – HSF

Amendment calls for regular full disclosure of fund's investment holdings, but some concerns remain

Submission on the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill

19 March 2019

In relation to a topic which has gained much publicity in recent weeks – as a result of a letter the Minister of Finance wrote to the Standing Committe on Finance (SCoF) questioning the wisdom of legislating that a political office-bearer be made the Chairperson of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Board – the Helen Suzman Foundation has responded to the SCoF’s call for public comment on the PIC Bill.

The HSF has been researching and publishing briefs on the PIC for the past year and a half; during which time we have called for regular full disclosures of all the PIC’s investment holdings. The PIC Bill contains such an amendment, but falls short in other areas. The HSF’s key concerns with the Bill can be summarised as:

1. There is no legal or economic principle that supports the provision that the chairperson of the PIC Board should be a political office bearer.

2. It is appropriate for the PIC’s depositors to make nominations to the Minister regarding the appointment of board members given the mandate of the PIC.

3. Investment directives derived from anywhere other than the PIC’s depositors create the danger of depositors considering alternative asset managers.

4. That provision is made for the mandatory disclosure of investment expenses, as well as consultant and professional services expenses.

To download the submission click here.

Issued by Charles Collocott on behalf of Helen Suzman Foundation, 19 March 2019