COSATU statement on the resignation of the PIC Board

COSATU welcomes the PIC Board’s resignation letter and we urge Minister Tito Mboweni to accept it and to move with speed to appoint a new board. Whilst it is not clear whether or not the PIC Board or some of its members may have engaged in corrupt activities, however, the allegations are far too serious to ignore. It will simply be untenable for the board to continue to serve with such a dark cloud hanging over them. The board’s continued stay will only serve to distract from President Ramaphosa’s efforts to clean up the mess that is the state.

Workers and COSATU are deeply concerned and angered by the constant flood of rumours of mass looting and corruption at the PIC. This is the workers’ hard-earned pension and insurance monies. It’s troubling to note that the PIC is being viewed as a petty cash kitty for morally vacuous politicians, their parasitic relatives and obnoxious business people.

About 87% of the PIC’s investment funds are public servants’ pensions and about 6% are UIF funds. In short, the money that is being invested by the fund manager that is PIC belongs to the workers.

The PIC should also not be used to bail out looted SOEs that have been brought on the verge of collapse by corruption and incompetence. We are also aware that there are circling vultures in the private sector that are campaigning for the depoliticisation of PIC so that they can take it under their own control.

The federation supports the PIC Commission of Enquiry’s efforts to shed light on what has been going on at the PIC. We urge workers at the PIC and elsewhere to come forward to disclose what they know to the commission about corruption in the PIC’s investment deals.

We urge the Minister in consultation with the cabinet, as required by the law, but also more importantly in consultation with organised labour, to appoint a board to oversee the most important and largest investment vehicle in the continent. It is time that workers are represented on the board. It is their money after all that is being invested by the PIC. It is the industry norm and requirement that fifty per cent of such boards must be composed of worker representatives.

Lastly, COSATU urges Parliament to urgently pass the PIC Amendment Bill before the end of March. This is a critical tool in the fight against corruption. It is one of the most important pro-worker bills since 1994. It is deeply worrying that it has not been adopted by Parliament despite the worrying state of affairs at the PIC. COSATU will fight at all costs to ensure its passage by the end of the 5th Parliament.

For further information contact: Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794