THICK END OF THE WEDGE
PETER BRUCE: An apolitical PIC would short-circuit abuse
With parliamentarians pushing for misguided amendments, the finance minister is arguing for control by politicians to be ruled out
There is something almost existential in the row developing between finance minister Tito Mboweni and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) select committee on finance over the progress of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Amendment Bill. Basically, Mboweni wants them to stop debating the bill and wait until the commission of inquiry into the PIC is completed and its recommendations known. Some of them may require being put into law and the Amendment Bill would be the obvious place to do that. But the committee insists on pushing ahead. Changes to the bill, it says, can be made by the new parliament after the May 8 election. In this, parliament is completely wrong. One of Mboweni’s issues is key. As it stands, the bill maintains the tradition that the deputy finance minister chairs the PIC board. Mboweni wants that stopped. He wants a non-politician running the board. Given the many billions invested and lost by the PIC in shady companies and enterprises, the commission of ...