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picFinancial Mail reports that the beleaguered Public Investment Corp (PIC) will have to explain the inner workings of its relationship with the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), the PIC’s major client, specifically over the grant of a R5bn bridging loan from the PIC to Eskom.  

The purpose of the loan, granted in February 2018, was to allow Eskom time, through a short-term operational liquidity crunch, to arrange longer-term borrowings from financial institutions.  The Public Servants Association (PSA), a 230,000-member trade union with a seat on the GEPF board, has applied to the high court in Pretoria under the Promotion of Access to Information Act for disclosures that relate not only to the loan, but also to the ministerial appointment of PIC directors.  No date for the PSA hearing has been scheduled.  It could be that a hearing is unnecessary because much of the requested information has already revealed in a series of voluminous affidavits.  In essence, the PSA wants to know how the PIC directors were appointed, specifically whether the minister exercised “due regard” to nominations submitted to him by depositors (it turned out that there were none).  The PSA also wants to see documents in support of the PIC’s contention that the loan was guaranteed by the government.  Since the PSA now has much of the information it sought, it is unclear what’s to be done with it.  But, indications are that in future the PIC board, as with the GEPF board, will include stakeholders, presumably trade unions such as the PSA.

  • Read Allan Greenblo’s comprehensive report on this matter at BusinessLive

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