Political opponents have already sounded a warning to government and citizens alike on Sunday, after reports of an ANC ploy to strategically target public pensions went public this weekend.
The document, which was allegedly leaked to Business Live, proposes amending regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act “to increase access [to] the savings of South Africans to fund long-term infrastructure capital projects”. That would target the collective pension funds of workers across the country.
This is by no means the first time the ANC has flirted with the idea of ‘raiding the pension pot‘, and they were rumoured to be eyeing up a similar bailout for Eskom. The shadow minister of finance, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has advised the PIC to come clean about any proposed move to essentially ‘pick the pockets’ of pensioners:
“If the PIC has indeed prepared an internal document, which also proposes a R90 billion Eskom debt-for-equity swap plan, then this document should be publicly released immediately. Even the rumour of this proposal has caused distress among other Eskom debt holders, the debt market, and our pensioners.”
“The PIC has a duty to play open cards with the public and the millions of pensioners it serves and should release this document. They must not hide anything from the people of this country.”
However, it’s believed that the trillions of rand in the pension reserve would rather be strategically invested by the PIC into a number of rebuilding projects, aimed at greasing the wheels of business and economic progress post-lockdown. But shadow trade minister Dean Macpherson has little faith in the alleged plans:
“They are not content with mismanaging the economy, education and health care, the ANC Government and Cyril Ramaphosa now want to use your pension to fix what they broke. Every pension fund manager and contributor needs to fight this to the bitter end.”