picBusinessLive reports that deputy finance minister David Masondo said in Parliament on Tuesday that the government was solidly committed to the protection of workers’ life savings.  

He made introductory remarks ahead of a presentation by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on the state-owned asset manager’s annual report for 2018/2019.  The PIC, which has assets under management of about R2.1-trillion, acts as the asset manager for the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), the Compensation Fund and other statutory funds.  “As government, we should not compel fund managers to invest in bad programmes.  If we do so we would be squandering hard-earned workers’ deferred wages.  We are committed, as government, to the life savings of workers and the PIC needs to be equally cognisant of its responsibility in this,” said Masondo.  His comments were made in the context of a debate over the possible use of PIC funds for development purposes and over the possible introduction of prescribed assets, which would require pension funds to dedicate a percentage of their funds for investment in government assets.

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