Finance minister Tito Mboweni waits to be sworn in in Cape Town, October 9 2018. Picture: REUTERS/SUMAYA HISHAM
Finance minister Tito Mboweni waits to be sworn in in Cape Town, October 9 2018. Picture: REUTERS/SUMAYA HISHAM

The select committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has snubbed finance minister Tito Mboweni, who had pressured them to delay the adoption of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Amendment Bill by parliament, adopting the bill without amendments on Tuesday.

The bill will be submitted to a plenary session of the NCOP on March 28, the day it rises ahead of the elections, and if passed will be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for signature and promulgation.

The bill provides for stronger corporate governance and transparency at the PIC and for trade union representation on the organisation’s board.

The PIC manages more than R2-trillion in assets on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Compensation Fund.

Mboweni wrote a letter to the chair of the select committee, Charel de Beer, expressing concern that the bill provided for a political office-bearer to be the chair of the PIC. The bill states that the deputy minister of finance or a deputy minister from the economics cluster will be chair.

Mboweni also referred to the fact that the commission of inquiry into the PIC under retired judge Lex Mpati would be submitting a report with recommendations that could require legislative amendments.

However, both the finance committee of the National Assembly and the select committee of finance of the NCOP say the bill is needed as an interim measure and that further amendments could still be made on the basis of the commission’s report.

Cosatu parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks welcomed the adoption of the bill by the select committee. “The PIC Amendment Bill is a critical tool in the fight against corruption, to protect workers’ pension and insurance funds, as well as to stabilise and cleanse the embattled PIC,” he said, adding that Cosatu would make a submission and presentation on the bill to the commission of inquiry.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za