South Africa - Pretoria - 4 March 2019 - Advocate Jannie Lubbe and Vuyo Jack at the PIC Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
PRETORIA – Former independent non-executive director at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Vuyo Jack told the PIC Commission of Inquiry on Monday that the asset manager was run with management by fear and poor people management.

Jack attributed his utterances to Deloitte’s Climate Survey, and some of the pertinent findings of the climate survey presented to the PIC Board were as follows: 

  • Fear culture and not unified; 
  • Lack of strategic direction; 
  • Management by fear and poor people management; 
  • Management does not have employees’ best interest at heart; 
  • Blame shifting and poor decision-making abilities; 
  • Do not address problems; and 
  • Moving goal posts.

Jack said, given the gravity of the issues raised through the Deloitte’s Climate Survey, the board decided that one way to tackle the issues was through conducting a governance review, which was to be led by the head of the Audit and Risk Committee Ignatius Sehoole. 

In 2013, KPMG was commissioned to undertake the governance review.

Jack, who began at the PIC in December 2012, told the Commission that he suggested to the PIC board that they should take leadership in remedying the issues raised, since the buck stopped with them as the last link in the reporting chain. 

“I proposed to the board that we confront the issues through a PIC Innovation Lab. The idea behind the innovation lab was to address staff issues in a proactive manner, rather than taking a reactive stance. 

“We all knew what the problems were and needed an innovative way to address them. The innovation lab was designed to cover both technical knowledge and human resources issues within the PIC, in line with the issues emphasised by the climate survey.  Its objective was to give meaning to working at the PIC, hence the theme ‘It must mean something to work at the PIC’.”

Jack said he drafted a presentation to the board, it was approved with the resolution. 

“When the proposal of the PIC Innovation Lab was recommended by the Directors Affairs Committee and approved by the Board, some managers suggested that the first session to ideally introduce the concept, should be at the Management Getaway that was held in October 2013. 

“I conceptualised the launch to be an interactive musical experience that would bring out the issues mentioned in the climate survey at the guttural level for management. I hired a band and musicians at my own cost, in order to expedite the process of launching the PIC Innovation Lab and, to build on the excitement exhibited by most of the staff members,” said Jack.

He said after the Management Getaway, most managers were quite encouraged, and an expanded list of sessions were planned for the three offices of the PIC, including the PIC property team.