With an audacious bid to dip into the Public Investment Corporation's coffers scuppered for now, the government is likely to be casting around for another source of easy funding. And the "dangerous eyes" that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said this week were looking at the PIC could be homing in on private-sector pension funds. A plan to force private-sector pension funds to invest in government assets has a precedent: the National Party relied on it for 33 years. Prescribed assets - introduced in 1956 through the Pensions Fund Act and scrapped in 1989 - compelled private-sector pension funds to invest at least 50% of their assets under management in government bonds, homeland development corporations or government-owned companies, according to a presentation by Joanna Legutko for Jacques Malan Consultants & Actuaries. Ian Cruickshanks, chief economist at the Institute of Race Relations, considers the reintroduction of prescribed assets as almost inevitable. "It is a very real ri...

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