Jonas: All institutions under threat
Amid growing concerns that National Treasury and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) are being targeted by the agents of state capture, former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas has warned that South Africans cannot presume that any institution is safe.
“Until recently we have been saying that Treasury is on the right track, the Reserve Bank is on the right track, and StatsSA and the electoral commission are on the right track, but that’s not static,” he told the Morningstar Investment Conference in Cape Town.
“We must defend all institutions, even those we think are not captured, because when does the process of capture begin and when does it end?”
Jonas shared the stage with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who once again called on South Africans to be vigilant.
“The space for these guys is narrowing,” Gordhan said. “Therefore the pace of looting is increasing.
“That is what we should be worried about.”
Jonas pointed out that there is a clear pattern to how institutions are captured, and this is what must be watched at the PIC.
“The pattern is a simple one,” he said. “You remove management, and put in compliant management.
“You remove boards, and put in boards that are compliant.
“The rest is easy. That has been the scenario at state-owned enterprises.”
The recent focus on the PIC’s CEO, Dan Matjila, and attempts to remove him should therefore not be taken lightly.
Gordhan did, however, commend the trade union movement for getting involved very quickly.
This has played a role in keeping Treasury’s actions in check so far, he said.
The space for these guys is narrowing. Therefore the pace of looting is increasing. That’s what we should be worried about.
Pravin Gordhan Former finance minister