SA’s sluggish economy and the Covid-19 outbreak and associated lockdowns had a devastating effect on the pension fund that looks after the savings of government workers, with the value of its assets falling more than R200bn.             

The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), which is responsible for ensuring the financial wellbeing of all national and provincial government employees in retirement, said its portfolio declined nearly 12% for the year ending March 2020. Despite the lockdown only being announced towards the end of that month, it cited market turmoil due to Covid-19 among the main drivers of the performance, a sign of how drastic the turn in sentiment was. ..

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