South Africa’s Ramaphosa orders inquiry at $142 billion state pension fund

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 17 (Reuters) – South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday appointed a judicial inquiry into the 2 trillion rand ($142 billion) state pension fund, a government gazette said, following corruption allegations.

The PIC is Africa’s biggest pension fund and the biggest investor in South Africa’s economy holding a large volume of bonds issued by government and state-owned firms.

The gazette notice said it will investigate “persistent and continued negative reports about alleged improprieties regarding investments” by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages assets on behalf of the government employees.

Ramaphosa said the inquiry should issue a final report by latest April next year.

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In May, opposition parties called for an investigation into the pension fund’s chief executive Dan Matjila, accusing him of misuse of funds and careless investment decisions.

Matjila has denied the allegations and was also backed by the Treasury, which oversees the PIC. PIC’s spokesman could not immediately comment and referred any questions to the Treasury.

In 2017, Matjila was cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal audit committee that looked into the allegations.

But the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank early this year, where the fund has a 25 percent stake, and the resignations of two PIC employees linked to the fraud have raised new questions. PIC also has stakes in blue-chip companies across various sectors such as miner Anglo American (LON:AAL) Platinum AMSJ.J , lender Barclays Africa (JO:ABGJ) BGAJ.J and retailer Shoprite SHPJ.J .

A compelling argument for using SA’s pension funds to build infrastructure

John Oliphant was the youngest CEO of a JSE-listed company when GAIA Infrastructure Capital appointed him. He is the former Principal Executive Officer of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF).

The GEPF is Africa’s largest pension fund, with assets more than R1.6 trillion.

During his time at the GEPF, the assets under its management doubled in less than five years. Oliphant serves as Chairperson of Third Way Investment Group. He is the Executive Director and Founding Partner of Third Way Investment Partners.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Oliphant for his weekly “ShapeShifter” feature.

In the interview, Oliphant made a compelling argument for investing South Africa’s pension funds in other areas of the economy, specifically in infrastructure.

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GEPF’s Pareto eyes JSE listing

The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) plans to list a property portfolio of shopping malls on the JSE, bringing real estate investors more exposure to SA’s retail sector.

Pareto Limited, which is 76% owned by the GEPF, is set to list on the JSE’s main board in 2019 – a plan first mooted by management in 2016 but put on ice due to SA’s difficult economic and trading conditions at the time.

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Government pension fund has R1.6bn in unclaimed benefits

The government is urging former public servants and their beneficiaries who may be owed benefits by the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) to contact the fund.

The GEPF owes R1.6 billion in unpaid and unclaimed benefits.

Last week, Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said that, as of May, there were 44 190 cases of unpaid and unclaimed benefits.

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State calls on former employees to collect unclaimed benefits

The government has called on retired public servants and their beneficiaries to apply for unclaimed and unpaid pension benefits, which amount to more than R1.6bn.

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Monday the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) had 44,190 cases of unpaid and unclaimed benefits as of May 2018.

The GPAA administers pensions on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). Unclaimed benefits are accumulated as a result of the rejection of incorrect documentation, including the identity of beneficiaries, as well as member tax matters, incorrect banking details and family disputes.

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Unions oppose moves to oust PIC’s Matjila

TRADE unions are leading a pushback against concerted efforts to oust Public Investment Corporation (PIC) boss Dan Matjila.

Yesterday the country’s biggest trade union federation, Cosatu, said it was consulting with its affiliates regarding attempts to remove Matjila, as the fight for control of the crucial funding institution intensifies among political elites.

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Nene appoints new advisory board for govt pensions administrator

The advisory board advises the finance minister on the administration of pensions, and the performance, governance and operations of the GPAA.
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene today reappointed Joe Lesejane as chairperson of the new advisory board for the Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA).

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A Helicopter, Sports Cars And A Missing R900m — Everything You Need To Know About The VBS Bank Drama

VBS Mutual Bank is once again in the spotlight, this time over allegations that its shareholders plundered the institution’s finances to sponsor their extravagant lifestyles.

What’s now at stake is about R1.5-billion of taxpayer money deposited into the embattled bank by more than a dozen municipalities in various provinces. The Public Investment Corporation, which manages the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and is one of the bank’s largest shareholders, also stands to lose millions.

According to separate reports by Sunday Times and City Press over the weekend, this is what you need to know:

– At the centre of the allegations are bank shareholder (and Vhavenda king) Toni Mphephu Ramabulana; the bank’s former chairman and Vele Investments founder Tshifhiwa Matodzi; and Vele Investments CEO Robert Madzonga. Vele Investments is the bank’s largest shareholder.

– It is alleged the trio used hundreds of millions in depositors’ funds to pay for their lavish lifestyles, which includes a helicopter for the king, luxury apartments, designer clothing, and sports cars. This was reportedly done through a series of vehicle finance deals, mortgage bonds and complex intercompany loans between VBS, Vele Investments and its subsidiaries.

-About R900-million is said to be unaccounted for.

Proceed to Source : Huffington Post

PIC has performed well, CEO Matjila tells MPs

Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila and his executives came out fighting on Tuesday against allegations of impropriety and bad investment decisions by the corporation.

Matjila and his team were grilled by members of Parliament’s finance committee.

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PIC bill will curb CEO’s power

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Amendment Bill, which is set to be gazetted on Friday, may make the chief executive position, currently occupied by Dan Matjila, less influential by decentralising its powers – and hopefully attract investors.

According to the draft of the amendment, the current mechanisms are overly centralised and may lessen investors. To remedy that, it has proposed that there be designated board non-executive seats for a representative of the National Treasury and not more than three representatives of a registered trade union whose members are the majority Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) – the biggest shareholder of PIC.

It provides for directives to be tabled in the National Assembly, to the depositors as well as to publish it on its website.

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