|We welcome the fact that the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, has finally taken action to stop the bleeding at the Public Investment Corporation.
There is hardly a day that goes by without some new scandal surfacing at the PIC including:
- allegations of irregular payments made by the Chief Executive Officer, Dr Dan Matjila, which now appear not to have been investigated thoroughly, following the leaking of an “internal audit” report;
- allegations that the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize, received a R4.5 million “kickback” in return for facilitating a R210 million loan from the Public Investment Corporation; and
- allegations surrounding questionable investments, or potential investments, in inter alia Ayo Technology Solutions Limited, Sagarmatha Technologies Limited, Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. and VBS Mutual Bank.
The independent inquiry, and the forensic investigation, will hopefully get to the bottom of the various allegations and begin to restore public trust in the Public Investment Corporation.
However, there is now a risk that the outcome of the independent inquiry may be used as an excuse to put important legislation, aimed at strengthening governance and boosting transparency at the Public Investment Corporation, on ice in Parliament.
We cannot afford any delay in passing legislation, such as the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill [B1-2018] (Private Members Bill), or the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill (Committee Bill), in Parliament.