Dr Iqbal Survé at the PIC Commission of Inquiry Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Businessman Dr Iqbal Survé, testifying before the Mpati Commission of Inquiry into allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) in Pretoria on Wednesday, said the entity must do more to transform the economy.

Survé, who is Executive Chairman of the Sekunjalo Group and a shareholder in companies including AEEI (African Equity Empowerment Investments), AYO Technology Solutions and Independent Media, was responding to a question from Emmanuel Lediga, an assistant to the commissioner Justice Lex Mpati. Lediga wanted to know if the investment of trade unions in Survé's companies had led to political pressure on the PIC.

Survé said his philosophy was to empower as many people as possible, including the workers of the country, hence the participation of trade unions.

“I have met numerous times with trade unions to talk about an African digital economy where Africans take control of their data and the economy so we can create jobs. Trade unions are important in terms of creating jobs. Through all of our companies we build social contracts with trade unions.”

Survé said this could be attributed to his background and his belief in stakeholder and inclusive capitalism.

“On that basis people want to participate in our businesses. If they write letters to the PIC that’s okay but my advice to the PIC is that you should ignore that.

“You should rather look at the fundamentals of the business that is being entered into, that it meets stakeholder requirements, serves the purpose of transforming the economy and unlocks monopolies in our economy,” said Survé.

“I don’t think the PIC takes these kinds of things seriously. We need far more people on the PIC who are smart about understanding the capital markets and the requirements of the capital markets to grow our economy, unlocking the balance sheets of companies that have a trillion rands in investments and utilising that smartly in partnership with entrepreneurs.”

Survé said the PIC can help the country go beyond companies only creating wealth for themselves.

In his wide-ranging testimony which started on Tuesday. Survé has touched on the country’s black economic empowerment (BEE) model; the PIC’s R4.3 billion investment in AYO; the scuppered listing of Multi-Sided Platform company Sagarmatha Technologies; as well as the acquisition of Independent Media in 2013. 

IOL