Cosatu’s parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks urged Parliament to pass the bill before it concluded its work in November. “It must be adopted by Parliament by the end of 2018 and come into effect by 2019. Anything less will be a clear message to workers that their deep and legitimate anger, concerns and proposals are not taken seriously,” Parks said.
“Cosatu wants to warn the government, that it will not hesitate to mobilise its members to go on strike and take to the streets if there are any moves to loot the PIC.”
The federation presented its proposals to the standing committee on finance yesterday. Cosatu argued for the PIC to be compelled to table its reports and ministerial directives to the PIC’s major depositors. Cosatu, however, supported the bill’s provision that designates the deputy minister or minister of finance to chair the PIC board and the bill’s pro-worker and pensioner investment mandate for PIC investments.
The PIC is the biggest investor in South Africa’s economy, holding a large chunk of government bonds and stakes in blue-chip companies such as lender Barclays Africa, grocer retailer Shoprite and Vodacom.
The PIC, which has assets under management of R2.1trillion as at the end of March, manages funds on behalf of largely the Government Employees Pension Fund.
The other clients of the PIC are made up of the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Competition Commission Fund and various other clients with smaller portfolios.
The bill calls for the 10 non-executive members to include a representative of the National Treasury, a representative of each major depositor and two or three representatives of a registered trade union, whose members are the majority of the members of the fund.
It also states that union representatives have to be selected at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council based upon their proportional composition.
In June Fedusa called for the inclusion of workers on the board of the PIC.
The federation said the PIC should also be used to transform the economy.
Yesterday Fedusa general secretary Dennis George said the federation would like to see the bill becoming law “as soon as possible”.
- BUSINESS REPORT