26/09/2017 06:03 SAST | Updated 26/09/2017 06:23 SAST

PIC, Gigaba To Meet Over Reports That Treasury Wants To Raid The Pension Fund

Sources say SAA has asked for a loan from the PIC, but Gigaba says this isn't true.

Rogan Ward / Reuters
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba speaks to journalists at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 meeting in Durban, South Africa, May 3, 2017.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) are set to meet on Tuesday to clear up reports that government wants to use PIC money to bail out failing state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Business Day reported on Tuesday.

Reports said Treasury had put the PIC under pressure to provide R100-billion to assist struggling SOEs. According to Business Day, this is specifically for SAA, SA Express and the SABC, which need R15 billion to stay afloat. Treasury has under a month to find the funds.

PIC head Dan Matjila told Business Times this week that he believed he was being targeted by powerful people who wanted access to the PIC's R1.9-trillion.

Matjila had to answer the PIC's board recently, amid allegations against him. He told Business Times that he believed this was a targeted attack.

"I've got the keys. They're looking for the keys to the big safe," Matjila reportedly said.

But on Monday, Gigaba issued a statement saying Treasury had not asked the PIC for funds.

"No formal or informal request has been sent to the PIC for such funds," he said.

However, Gigaba told Cosatu last month that he had not ruled out using the PIC's funds.

"The minister was saying we should not have an assumption that this is something that can never be used and can never be touched because some of the benefits of what we are trying to target are national economic matters that affect everyone, including the people [who] are the pension holders," his spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete reportedly told Business Day at the time.

According to the paper on Tuesday, SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni had signed off on a request for a R6-billion loan from the PIC, according to three sources. Tshwete reportedly said this was not true.