Today's Labour News

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picEngineering News reports that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on Thursday confirmed that neither it nor any of its clients, including the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), had been consulted about using the GEPF’s financial resources to help alleviate some of state-owned power utility Eskom’s debt.  

This followed after the union federation Cosatu on 3 February proposed that R250-billion of state employees’ pension money, managed by the PIC, should be used to help pay down some of Eskom’s R454-billion debt.  Cosatu has, in the meantime, put the brakes on talks on the proposed social compact between government, the PIC and development finance institutions owing to growing disquiet by organised labour about the implications of such a move.  Trade union Solidarity on Tuesday sent a letter of demand to the GEPF and the PIC requesting that the trustees and boards of those institutions not accept any proposals related to providing financing to the power utility.  The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa) wrote a letter with similar sentiments to the GEPF chairperson earlier this week.  The PIC said it was ready and keen to engage with various stakeholders to find a suitable and sustainable solution for the systemic risk posed by Eskom.  Such a solution had to be in line, however, with prudent management of client assets.  “The PIC is obligated to always act in the best interests of its clients, while giving due regard to the national interest,” it pointed out.

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