Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. Picture: SOWETAN
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. Picture: SOWETAN

The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) could have exercised better oversight of the scandal-ridden Public Investment Corporation (PIC), says Cosatu.

The unions federation, whose members’ pension savings are administered by the PIC on behalf of the GEPF, said on Tuesday that while workers were “angered” by reports of mass looting and corruption at the corporation, its representatives and others on the fund’s board needed to get their act together.

PIC officials, including former CEO Dan Matjila, have been accused of wrongdoing and corruption, with four of its directors including deputy finance minister and chair Mondli Gungubele facing similar allegations.

The corporation’s workings and investment transactions are under scrutiny at the commission of inquiry headed by Justice Lex Mpati, which was established by President Cyril Ramaphosa to look into allegations of impropriety at the PIC.

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the federation hoped that the proposed legislative amendments to the way the PIC is governed would address some of the governance weaknesses at the asset manager.However, the strengthening of GEPF trustees would also aid the situation, he said.

“There is space for the GEPF trustees to be more careful. We must strengthen our representatives in the GEPF. We acknowledge there is space for improvement in the GEPF trustees and moreso in terms of the supervision of the PIC,” Ntshalintshali said.

The federation called on finance minister Tito Mboweni to include union representatives in the composition of the new PIC board. It argued that it did not want to see “the recycling of old politically connected board members and retired executives at the PIC”.

Mboweni is in the process of appointing a new PIC board following Friday’s mass resignation by its entire board.

Meanwhile, the asset manager's   board of nonexecutive directors, who resigned en masse last week, said they will remain in place for now. On Tuesday the board members said they are committed to remain until Mboweni appoints a new board.