Public Investment Corporation should be left to get on with its work – Masondo
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CAPE TOWN - DEPUTY Finance Minister David Masondo said yesterday that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) should be allowed to do what it was mandated to do by its investors and stakeholders, and that no other entity could tell the asset manager how to act.
Masondo said this while making his submissions to the meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance (Scof) with the PIC, the Sekunjalo Group, Matome Maponya Investments and the National Treasury on the Mpati Commission of Inquiry Report yesterday.
Masondo said there seemed to be huge discontent over the findings of the PIC Commission of Inquiry report by Justice Lex Mpati, as well as serious issues and disputes over transactions between the PIC and parties involved. He strongly recommended that those entities that were unhappy with the Mpati Report should approach the legal authorities for recourse.
“We cannot on this platform amend or set aside the findings of the Mpati Commission or the report,” he said.
Sekunjalo chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé welcomed this recommendation and reiterated Masondo's sentiments that Africa's largest asset manager should be allowed to get on with its work.
Sekunjalo presented in its capacity as an investor in AYO Technology Solutions (AYO), Independent Media, Sagarmatha, and Premier Fishing and Brands and was joined by AYO chairperson Dr Wallace Mgoqi and Independent Media chief operations officer Takudzwa Hove.
Masondo said the PIC had a fiduciary responsibility to its investors, the Government Employees Pension Fund, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and to deliver on its mandate. He said the continued undermining of the asset manager was likely to send potential investors elsewhere.
Survé extended the concern of what signal was sent to the local and international investment community where buyer's remorse and discriminatory interference prevented an investee company from maturing on that investment.
“In not allowing the PIC's investments in these entities to come to fruition; it also has compounding negative consequences for the people whose money the PIC is mandated to invest.”
The deputy minister said the Treasury had absolute confidence in the asset manager and stated that they had a public mandate and there was no tangible evidence that they were performing to the contrary.
Ironically, Sekunjalo's submission sought to correct the enduring misrepresentations raised at the Mpati Commission and contained in the subsequent report.
“As has been noted by Sekunjalo and many of the companies highlighted in the report on several occasions, these errors have subsequently been conveyed and perpetuated by the media. These factual mistakes are material and have caused untold harm in terms of reputation loss for all the companies concerned. They have also
led to a drastic decline in the share value of some of the listed entities that have been caught in the consequent crossfire,” said Sekunjalo in a statement after the meeting.
Survé also questioned the wisdom of recovering money from entities – eight years and three years later – in which no adverse findings had been found against them, and that the PIC was doing so only because the PIC's
own processes had been found wanting, along with meddling in the PIC's affairs by external parties with a vested interest in ensuring the failure of certain organisations.
Concluding the proceedings, Scof chairperson Joseph Maswanganyi appealed to the PIC to engage positively with its investee companies and reminded all that there was nothing to stop stakeholders from approaching
the executive to find a solution, as the PIC accounted to the Minister of Finance.
He said going to court was not the only solution to solve a dispute. Maswanganyi requested a detailed brief from the PIC on its transformation policy and what it had done to redress the past, ahead of the PIC's next reporting back to Parliament.