Public Investment Corporation (PIC) chief executive Dan Matjila, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi addressed the media following reports PIC funds would be raided to assist cash-strapped state-owned entities. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / ANA

Pretoria - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday rubbished media reports which suggested that the South African National Treasury would use funds from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to bail out the country's failing state-owned enterprises.

"I want to assure every South African, every pension holder that their pensions are safe, that there is absolutely no attempt to dig into their pensions for reasons that are unscrupulous," Gigaba told a media briefing at the National Treasury in Pretoria.

"I also want to dispel another untruth, that I said...we need R100 billion in order to fund ailing state-owned companies. There is absolutely no truth in that."

Gigaba was addressing journalists following widespread reports suggesting that National Treasury was trying to force the PIC to commit to providing the R100 billion to bail out the numerous struggling state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including R12 billion for the embattled South African Airways (SAA).

The media briefing followed a meeting held by Gigaba, his deputy Sfiso Buthelezi – who also chairs the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) - and the board of the corporation which manages state workers' pension funds.

Gigaba said he called the meeting because he wanted to find out from the board if the reports from this weekend were true, and whether there were indeed attempts to remove PIC chief executive, Dr Dan Matjila, and replace him with a pliable official who would facilitate the capture of Africa’s largest fund manager.

African News Agency and Business Report