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Van Rooyen’s minister stint wiped R95bn off pensions

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The pensions of government employees lost R95 billion in the two days last December that Des van Rooyen was finance minister‚ the CEO of the Public Investment Corporation‚ Dan Matjila‚ told Parliament on Tuesday.

Dr Matjila‚ who was briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on finance‚ said that the investments had “significantly recovered” since then the incident.

Across the entire portfolio — as well as the Government Employees Pension fund‚ the PIC also manages assets of government’s social security funds — the losses amounted to R99 billion.

The disclosure came in response to a question from Democratic Alliance (DA) MP David Maynier‚ who also quizzed Dr Matjila on whether the asset manager was invested in any Gupta-related companies‚ and asked for details on the funding arrangements the PIC had made with Iqbal Surve’s Sekunjalo for the purchase of Independent Newspapers.

Dr Matjila said that “to the best of our knowledge the PIC has not made any direct investment in a Gupta-owned entity”.

However‚ both he and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas‚ who was also present and is the chairman of the PIC‚ acknowledged that the careful answer was necessary in case information of which they were unaware emerged.

The PIC had committed R888 million to Surve for the Independent Newspapers acquisition two years ago‚ of which 70% sat on the balance sheet of Independent Newspapers and about 30% was a loan to Sekunjalo.

Neither required repayment at this stage as they had another three years to run before they had to be serviced.

[Source: Times Live]
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