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SAFTU condemns PIC loan to Eskom

The South African Federation of Trade Unions strongly condemns the decision of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to give Eskom a loan of R5 billion to cover its operational costs for this month.

This is workers’ money, held in the Government Employees’ Pension Fund (GEPF), which is bound by law “to prudently manage clients’ investments and deliver returns that meet but preferably exceed client mandates”.

Eskom is an extremely insecure investment, given that it is reported to be on the brink of insolvency, and is currently under investigation by a Parliamentary Committee in connection with allegations of corrupt and fraudulent deals with companies owned by the Gupta family.

The Hawks have now confirmed that they have served a subpoena on Eskom to force it to hand over documents linked to the state capture investigation.

It is certainly not “prudent” to invest workers’ money to clean up a colossal mess which they did not create. The stolen money should be not be replaced from workers’ pensions but recovered by the Assets Forfeiture Authority from those companies who stole billions, Eskom officials like Ben Ngubane, Matshela Koko and Brian Molefe who facilitated and benefited from these deals and from ministers, including Lynne Brown, who allowed it to happen on their watch.

This decision by the PIC strengthens the case for workers to be playing a far bigger role in its management, with the right to veto any loans and investments which pose a risk to the pensions held by the GEPF.