The investments were knocked by the downturn in the economy, the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the cost of malfeasance perpetrated by a few officials at the PIC.
The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) is a critically important social stabiliser – because it provides a financial future for millions of civil servants and their dependants.
However, it has become apparent in the last few years that it could be vulnerable to exploitation … and that it has lost value because of that.
About 87% of the investments in the fund are managed by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which has been under scrutiny for some dodgy financial deals.
It is staggering that in its latest report, the GEPF reports losses of R214.4 billion for the year, and that the market value of its investments dropped 11.47% to R1.61 trillion. The investments were knocked by the downturn in the economy, the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the cost of malfeasance perpetrated by a few officials at the PIC.
The GEPF faces further problems because it is exposed to loans to disastrous state-owned enterprises like Eskom, Sanral and Transnet.
Also on the horizon is the possibility that the government will force pension and other funds to invest in large infrastructure projects, which offer poor rates of return and high risk.
Future stability for South Africa depends on its people’s savings. Mess with those at your peril.
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