Today's Labour News

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retirementBusinessLive reports that organised labour, which has championed the notion of prescribed assets for pension funds in the past, says high levels of corruption mean that workers must be cautious about how their funds are used by the state.  

Labour federation Cosatu, which has been at the forefront of the campaign calling for pension funds to have to dedicate a set portion of their portfolio to investment in the state, is now calling for caution on the adoption of the proposal.  In its recent general election manifesto, the ANC said it would "investigate the introduction of prescribed assets on financial institutions’ funds to unlock resources for investments in social and economic development".  This could lead to the country’s savings pool being used towards funding state-owned entities (SOEs) as well as housing and infrastructure.  But on Monday, Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said they would not allow pension funds to be used as "petty cash for the state".  He emphasised Cosatu’s long-standing position that it supported investment in social and economic development such as infrastructure, but said the backing was conditional on guarantees of healthy above-inflation investment growth and sustainability.  “Prescribed asset investments must be transparent and protected from corruption," Parks said.  The Public Service Association (PSA) has also taken a cautious approach.  The SA Federation of Trade Unions (Fedusa) said, while labour had campaigned for prescribed assets, it was worried "about the levels of corruption and certainly do not want to open another trough".

  • Read Theto Mahlakoana’s report on this matter in full at BusinessLive

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