South African finance minister denies claims of pensions raid

29 Sep 17

South Africa’s finance minister has said he won’t “dip into pensions” to bail out struggling state-owned companies, despite reports suggesting the treasury is seeking $7.50bn for this purpose.

Media reports last week said the National Treasury was seeking to use Public Investment Corp (PIC) funds to assist government entities such as South African Airways.

But finance minister Malusi Gigaba said the government did not have plans to raid the pension fund to bail out firms and denied reports that he told the Congress of South African Trade Unions that state-owned entities would need 100bn rand ($7.50bn) to survive. 

“There is no attempt to dip into pensions for reasons that are unscrupulous,” Gigaba told reporters on Tuesday after meeting with the board of the PIC.

As well as the South African Airways, the government is seeking funds for utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., oil company PetroSA and defence firm Denel SOC Ltd., Bloomberg reported.

PIC is a registered financial services provider, owned by the South African government and the minister of finance as shareholder representative. 

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