The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) slammed the appointment of Maria Ramos to the Public Investment Corporation interim board, saying she was conflicted and would not defend the interests of civil servants and the PIC.
The red berets say Ramos, former finance minister Trevor Manuel, President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni are “direct deployees of white monopoly capital”.
The party said in a statement: “Maria Ramos was in the recent past a board member of Remgro, an investment holdings company chaired by Johan Rupert, which has shares in a lot of company that has the PIC as shareholders. Amongst these companies are RMH & FIRSTRAND, the owners of FNB and Wesbank; Mediclinic; eMedia which owns eTV and eNCA; Distell; RCL Foods; and many other companies which the PIC has direct or indirect interests. Maria Ramos will unavoidably be conflicted and will certainly not defend the interests of government employees on the PIC board, as she has direct relationships with the companies she served as a director in.”
Mboweni on Wednesday announced the appointment of an interim board of directors, who included the ex-Absa CEO Ramos. The traditional appointment of finance deputy minister as PIC chairperson was done away with. Two more members, Pitsi Moloto and Xolani Mkhwanazi, have both been re-appointed as board members. This followed the announcement of Ramaphosa’s re-appointment of Lesetja Kganyago as governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), and the appointment of Nomfundo Tshazibana and Dr Rashad Cassim as deputy governors.
Mboweni seemed to be “deliberately disregarding the legislative guidance from the National Assembly in favour of his capitalist friends,” said the EFF.
“The deliberate exclusion of the deputy minister from the PIC Board is also a capitalist plan to remove political oversight over the looting of assets under the management of the PIC. Government underwrites almost all assets that are invested by the PIC, on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund, so it is logical that a deputy minister is directly involved in the deployment of key resources to various sectors of the economy.
“The fifth Parliament’s National Assembly already passed a bill legislation that set parameters on appointment of [the] PIC Board and amongst other things, specified that deputy minister of finance should be chairperson of the PIC Board. Tito Mboweni seems to be deliberately disregarding the legislative guidance from the National Assembly in favour of his capitalist friends.”
– African News Agency