File Image: Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba
JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba has made a request for reports from the Financial Services Board (FSB) and state pension funds to provide him with a report on the extent of exposure for retirement funds as result of the Steinhoff scandal.

Gigaba said he is mindful that retirement and savings funds may be affected by the loss in the value of Steinhoff shares, therefore, members of retirement funds should be reassured that current regulations limit the extent to which any one fund may be invested in any one company.

“That notwithstanding, the Minister has requested the retirement funds regulator at the FSB, Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) to provide him with a report on the extent of exposure for retirements funds,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

“The Minister expects that this report will give assurance that the interests of the shareholder are protected, including retirement and savings funds. Considering the recent call for corporate South Africa to provide accurate reporting of its financials, the Minister will also have discussions with other appropriate regulators, like the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), to assess any likely lapses in financial and auditing reporting," the report went on to state.

This follows calls made earlier today by t he Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu), which said it was concerned by the events unfolding at Steinhoff, as thousands of their members work for companies that are owned by the Steinhoff group.

These include companies such as Pepclo, Dunns, Shoe City, Pep Stores and Ackermans (under Steinhoff) and Deslee Mattex and Feltex (under KAP Industrial Holdings in which Steinhoff International is a major shareholder).

The Cosatu-affiliated union said in a statement it was deeply concerned about the implications the matter could have on their members.

More than R100 billion was wiped off the value of Steinhoff International when its share price plunged more than 60% on the JSE on Wednesday.
This after chief executive Markus Jooste quit following the group’s admission of accounting irregularities.

The share price closed at R45.65 on the JSE on Tuesday and hit a low of R13.50 on Wednesday before closing 61.42% down at R17.61.

In an effort to limit the damage, the global retailer with more than 40 local brands in over 30 countries - including UK’s Poundland and South Africa’s Pep - has approached PwC to perform an independent investigation.

BREAKING: @mgigaba says he has noted #Steinhoff reports with "grave concern" - and is particularly concerned over implications for pension funds.

— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) December 7, 2017