It looks increasingly likely that a win by President Jacob Zuma’s incumbent faction at the ANC’s conference in December will bring about "radical economic transformation" — there will be an unprecedented transfer of wealth from ordinary working people to an already bloated elite. The key instrument in this radical programme of reverse empowerment will be the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), an entity that manages R1.8-trillion in government employees’ pensions and other guardian funds. Earlier this week, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told union federation Cosatu’s central executive committee that he could not guarantee PIC-managed funds would not be used to "re-capitalise" state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Such SOEs include the struggling national flag carrier, South African Airways (SAA), the SABC, and PetroSA, which have, together, accumulated losses of more than R25bn over the past decade.In a carefully disseminated narrative, such SOE bailouts have been hailed as protecting j...

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