Maynier says Gigaba’s actions with PIC ‘not credible’
FINANCE Minister Malusi Gigaba’s call to reveal the identities of companies who benefited from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) investment deals has been met with mixed feelings.
Yesterday, Gigaba appeared annoyed by allegations of a planned plot to raid the government employees pension fund (GEPF), managed by the PIC, allegedly with the aim of bailing out ailing state-owned entities.
Some of these allegations were made by some of Gigaba’s fellow cabinet ministers. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa made the latest call to public servants to fight and and protect the fund from being looted.
Ramaphosa was addressing the national general council of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union ( Sadtu) in Kempton Park on Thursday.
Sadtu like Cosatu has endorsed Ramaphosa to succeed ANC president Jacob Zuma at the party’s elective conference in December.
SACP boss and Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande was the first cabinet minister to sound the alarm against the perceived raid of PIC funds.
Nzimande urged workers to demand representation on the PIC board on September 27, a day after Gigaba assured the public the PIC funds were safe.
Gigaba made that assurance on September 26 following a meeting he had with PIC chief executive Dr Dan Matjila and the board members including its chairman and Deputy Minister of Finance Sfiso Buthelezi.
In an apparent fightback strategy, Gigaba’s office issued a statement saying the minister is concerned about the politicising of the PIC while clarity has been given on the matter.
“The minister thought it would be important to support his statement with bold action.
“The minister has written a letter to the CEO and board of the PIC, requesting them to provide a list of all its beneficiaries and the investments it has made, which he intends to make public.”
Gigaba has also asked Matjila and the board to conduct a forensic investigation into any concerns of irregularities at the asset manager.
DA spokesperson on finance David Maynier said: “The truth is the minister’s ‘spin machine’ is playing catch up desperately trying to claim ownership of processes that are already under way at the PIC.”
According to Maynier, the first disclosure of beneficiaries and investments, which included details of directors and shareholders, was made last year, and work towards preparing the second disclosure was well already under way.
Maynier said Gigaba’s “spin machine” was lately aimed at framing him as a “crusader against state capture” and a protector of the integrity of the PIC.
“It’s just not credible,” Maynier said.
Meanwhile, the Public Servants’ Association and the South African Federation of Trade Unions have welcomed the planned consideration to appoint labour representation to the PIC board.