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23 May 2017


The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) is alarmed by reports that National Treasury is considering using the Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) to bail out the “debt ridden” South African Airways (SAA).  The Union has vowed to take government to task should the employee’s pension fund be misused by those entrusted with its management.

According to reports, National Treasury is considering a number of avenues to finance SAA and one of them includes having the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) as a public equity partner. The fact that the PIC manages the GEPF has given rise to alleged usage of the fund to finance SAA.  It is also reported that SAA reflected a R4.8 billon loss in the previous financial year ending on March 2017 and currently loses R250 million per month.

 “Hospersa is shocked that government is considering using employee’s pension fund to rescue SAA,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “For the majority of employees in the Public Service, the pension fund is their only investment for the future. To use the fund to bail-out state owned entities especially those plagued with alleged corruption and maladministration would be reckless,” argued Desfontaines.

 It is reported that SAA has spent R21 million on fraud and corruption inquiries in the past three years without any evidence of individuals being held accountable.  The latest report on corruption at the national carrier involves an employee benefiting financially from a R13,6 million tender.  It is alleged the employee forged documents to bypass supply chain processes.

It is further reported that the newly appointed Deputy Finance Minister Sfiso Buthelezi has recently been appointed chairman of the PIC.  The PIC is the biggest investor in the economy, managing an estimated R1,87 trillion.  The appointment of the chairman and the board is done by the Minister of Finance where in this instance, the appointment was done by the newly appointed Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba.

“These reports seem to suggest that the wolves are circling in and getting ready to pounce on the hard earned savings of public servants,” said Desfontaines.  “As a union with many members in the public sector, we will take government to task at all our available avenues to protect our members’ pension savings from the clutches of corrupt officials,” concluded Desfontaines.



Total words (excluding heading):  383 

For interviews please contact Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines on 083-321-4427. 

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