COSATU welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s signing the Financial Matters Amendment Act into law

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s signing the Financial Matters Amendment Act into law.  The Federation supports the progressive provisions provided for in the Amendment Act as they will benefit millions of workers, their partners and dependents, in particular the provisions to:

  • Amend the Military Pensions Act to recognise SANDF personnel and veterans’ partners and their dependents.  This is important for military personnel’s family during the separation of assets in the event of the partnership ending or the member’s passing away.
  • Extend the legal framework governing pension funds to Associated Institutions Pension Funds.  Bridging this legal gap is critical to ensuring the rights of all pension fund members and their dependents are fully protected from abuse.  It is also important to enabling the partners and dependents to access what is due to them in the event of a separation.
  • Strengthen the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA)’s powers to sanction and discipline errant auditors.  This is a further welcome step forward towards cleaning up the auditing profession, many of whose members were founding wanting during the Zondo Commission’s findings.

Whilst COSATU welcomes these progressive provisions, the Federation is aggrieved Treasury and Parliament once again missed the opportunity to strengthen the Auditing Profession Act and elevate IRBA’s Mandatory Auditing Firm Rotation Rule (MAFR) requiring the rotation of auditing companies every 10 years into law.  The MAFR Rule was put in place in 2017 to prevent unhealthy and often corrupt relationships developing between auditors and the companies over who they are required to provide an honest audit.  The costs of auditing collusion come at a heavy price to workers when these institutions collapse due to corruption and mismanagement.

The Supreme Court of Appeal revoked this progressive and badly needed rule on 31 May this year because the Auditing Profession Act currently does not afford such powers to IRBA.  COSATU has repeatedly raised the possibility of this happening with Treasury and Parliament during their previous amendments to the Act in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.  Whilst COSATU is aggrieved that Parliament and Treasury once again did not use this opportunity to address this legal vacuum, we are pleased that Parliament has now agreed with the Federation’s call for a further Amendment Bill to correct this.

Issued by COSATU.

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687