Suspension of PIC Acting CEO welcomed – COSATU

Federation also says Minister must include union representatives on the board

COSATU Welcomes the suspension of the PIC Acting CEO

27 March 2019

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the decision of the PIC Board to suspend its acting CEO, Ms Matsepo More. The federation is alarmed by reports that the CEO may have interfered in matters relating to the Commission of enquiry into the PIC.

If true, this shows the extent of lawlessness at the PIC, and in particular the grotesque contempt for the rule of law shown by many of its management team.  It confirms that too many in the PIC and elsewhere simply view it as a slush fund to feed their insatiable appetites and not as the public asset manager to ensure the protection and growth of workers’ pensions (GEPF) and insurance funds (UIF and COIDA).

The PIC Board must urgently refer this shocking matter to the PIC commission to deal with.

The Commission needs to act quickly and decisively to deal with any attempts by PIC managers to undermine the commission.  The Hawks and other relevant law enforcement agencies need to be brought in to deal with such attempts to sabotage the commission, including charging such persons with contempt of court and their immediate arrest and detention.

COSATU is pleased the NCOP is due to adopt the PIC amendment bill on Thursday 28 March. We will be engaging the President to urgently sign it into law. It will be a critical tool in the stabilising and cleaning up of the PIC.  Whilst the PIC Bill and efforts to halt the anarchy at the PIC have been delayed for obvious and nefarious reasons for far too long, we are hopeful that the suspension of the CEO is a sign of government becoming serious about restoring public confidence in the beleaguered PIC.

We note Minister Mboweni's statement yesterday that he will appoint a new PIC board within 2 weeks.  To date, Minister Mboweni has still not consulted COSATU on labour representatives to serve on the board. It is clear that he is vehemently opposed to workers having a say on how their hard-earned pensions and insurance funds are spent. This unwarranted arrogance is in defiance of the PIC Amendment Bill requiring worker representatives on the board.  This equally makes a mockery of the President and the ANC's progressive commitments to ensure workers are represented on the PIC Board. 

Worker representation on the board deciding how to invest their pension and insurance funds is a critical tool in the fight against corruption and the collapse of good governance at the PIC.  It is a fight that COSATU will not give up on.

If Minister Mboweni fails to include union representatives on the board, COSATU will be forced to respond in kind to such an attack upon worker’s rights.

Issued by Matthew Parks, Parliamentary Coordinator, COSATU, 27 March 2019