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JOHANNESBURG - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has condemned the possible use of Public Investment Corporation (PIC) funds to bail out bankrupt state-owned enterprises (SOEs), saying if the reports are accurate it also means Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba either lied or wilfully misled Parliament. 

Saftu was shocked at Gigaba’s statement to Cosatu's central executive committee that he could not guarantee that the government would not attempt to use PIC funds to capitalise SOEs and other projects, Saftu said on Saturday. 

“This confirms earlier reports that the government wants to use workers’ money from their pension and provident funds to bail out loss-making state-owned enterprises, in particular SAA” Gigaba’s statement contradicted an assurance by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to MPs in June that “what one can say clearly is that the Government Employees’ Pension Fund, which is managed by PIC, will always make sure that funds of contributors are safe and well-managed”. 

Bailing out SOEs which had been bankrupted through mismanagement could not possibly amount to “safe and well-managed” use of the funds, Saftu said.