COSATU calls for UIF to cancel its questionable funding for a company called Thuja Investments

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is alarmed by further allegations of billions of rands being spent on questionable investments by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) at a company called Thuja Investments. Reports have surfaced alleging that the UIF is intending to give R5 billion to a company that allegedly:

  • Is not registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission nor the South African Revenue Service.
  • Has no history of economic activity, let alone experience or expertise in the field of investments it has submitted to the UIF to fund.
  • The company owner will not be putting up any capital or resources of any kind and will be solely dependent upon the UIF to fund its entire operations and third parties to provide the actual economic product.
  • The company refuses to disclose which third party banks and companies it will partner with and the nature of those partnerships.
  • Is owned by a prominent politically influential person who chairs a public entity that falls under the umbrella of the Department of Employment and Labour, under which the UIF too falls.

The Federation has further been informed that the UIF’s Bid Adjudication Committee declined to approve this funding and that subsequently the Public Investment Corporation, through whom the UIF invests its funds, has also rejected the funding proposal in its entirety.  It has been alleged that despite their refusals to approve this funding, the management of the UIF and the Department has directly intervened to overturn their decision, to authorise and expedite the release of the R5 billion in funding.

COSATU is deeply shocked by the allegations and a general tendency by some in the UIF and the Department to play fast and loose with the UIF’s funds.  Government should remember that the state does not contribute a single cent to the UIF.  The UIF is an employee employer contribution scheme.  It exists to help workers who have lost wages due to maternity or parental leave or when they have lost their jobs.  We will not tolerate its being used as a slush fund for bogus investments by a politically connected elite with no sense of moral bearings.

The Federation is deeply disappointed in how the Department and the UIF are managing workers’ funds.  We will again be engaging the Presidency to place the UIF under administration, deploy the SIU and Auditor-General to investigate all UIF investments, to scrap this particular investment plan to Thuja Investments, and to place a halt on all pending investments until matters are brought under control and workers can be assured their hard-earned savings are safe.

We insist on this because even before this latest saga, the wisdom to keep UIF under government control has not been obvious to the federation.

Issued by COSATU   

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794