Former PIC CEO Dan Matjila testifies at the PIC Commission of Inquiry. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila says he welcomes the representation of workers on the asset manager’s board just as long as processes are followed. 

Matjila was responding to questions posed during his testimony at the Mpati Commission of Inquiry into alleged impropriety at the PIC.

The Commission noted that last month Cosatu, during its testimony, had called for a 50/50 percent employer and worker representation on the board. At the time, the trade union federation's parliamentary co-ordinator, Matthew Parks, lamented that despite continuous efforts by Cosatu for the status quo to change, the PIC Act 23 of 2004 only made it possible for the employer to determine who sits on the board. 

"I don't have a problem with that as long as the process is in line with the requirements of the PIC.... The position is that whoever sits on the board is able to drive the mandate of the PIC," he said.

Matjila also made it clear that the board was solely responsible for governance at the PIC and they, the board of trustees within the Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF), craft the mandate for the asset manager.

According to Matjila, during his stint as the first chief investment officer appointed at the PIC in 2005, he was responsible for key tasks that were critical for the overall well-being of the organisation. 

It is at that time, he said, that he led negotiations with the GEPF for a financial service board compliant mandate.

Key, Matjila said, was the role he played in more investors coming on board at the PIC in 2006. These included local investors, as well as the Social Security and National Insurance Trust of Ghana and the African Development Bank, which were the only non-South African investors. 

Up to USD625 million was raised in investments, as Harith Fund Managers came on board. The PIC, he said, spent R17 million, as seed capital to establish Harith. 

Matjila highlighted that the Ghana investment had yielded successful results. 

"In fact, my recommendation is that perhaps the Commission should look at how they got it right," said Matjila. 

The Commission was adjourned early and will resume on Tuesday.