The institute accuses government of planning to seize private pension funds to plug spending gaps. Courtesy #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has raised concerns over what it calls government's attempt to plunder South Africans' private savings.
The institute accuses government of planning to seize private pension funds to plug spending gaps.
The IRR is reacting to a statement by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel that retirement funds play a role in the country's development.
The institute says government simply doesn't have enough money.
"They'll say you are legally mandated to buy assets and we are going to give you the list of assets you can buy into.
“They can say you have to buy into Eskom, you have to buy into SAA, you have to buy into SABC,” said Gabriel Crouse from the Institute of Race Relations.
“Look this has happened already with Transnet pensioners, their pension fund was managed by the Transnet pension fund and they felt like we need to pick and choose where we're investing not on the basis of what will give us the best returns but on what the key state interests are so it ended up getting invested in Sanral and other failed projects.
“Pensioners who should have been getting thousands or tens of thousands now are getting R20 a month.
“They can't survive on that so they move into their kids' place, they try and start something when they 60 but it's extremely difficult. Often elder people and pensioners are the sole financial entity in a larger family unit.
“So you really are taking from people who can't afford to have stuff taken away from them and investing it into companies, SOEs that are not looking good. We should be clear on this, this is not yet government policy."