One of the first tests of the new Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, is whether he will support the disclosure of detailed information about R70 billion worth of investments made by the Public Investment Corporation in its “unlisted investment portfolio” in 2017/18.
The Public Investment Corporation has disclosed detailed information about investments in its “unlisted investment portfolio” for the past two years before the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement has been presented in Parliament.
However, this year:
- no disclosure of detailed information has been made by the Public Investment Corporation about investments in its “unlisted investment portfolio” during 2017/18;
- no provision has been made for hearings on the Public Investment Corporation’s 2017/18 annual report and annual financial statements by the finance committee in Parliament; and
- there seems to have been an “about turn” when it comes to greater transparency at the Public Investment Corporation.
The fact is that National Treasury is now opposing provisions that would promote greater transparency that are contained in my Private Members Bill, entitled the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill [B1-2018], which is before the finance committee in Parliament.
We have to ensure that detailed information about investments, especially investments in the “unlisted investment portfolio”, is disclosed, because it serves as a major disincentive to “rent-seekers” with political influence who want to raid the Public Investment Corporation.
I will, therefore, write to Dr Dan Matjila, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation, requesting him to disclose detailed information about the R70 billion worth of investments made by the Public Investment Corporation in its “unlisted investment portfolio” in 2017/18.
And I have already written to Yunus Carrim, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, requesting him to schedule a hearing with the Public Investment Corporation during the fourth term of Parliament.
We will not back down and will continue to fight for more transparency so that the Public Investment Corporation does not become a “piggy bank” for the governing party in South Africa.