Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned union members to keep a close eye on the country's institutions, particularly the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which he said he had heard was being looked at "with dangerous eyes", Business Day reported on Friday.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa reportedly addressed the SA Democratic Teachers' Union's national general council.
"You, as members of the union, must make sure it is protected because it manages your money," he reportedly said.
There have been recent rumours that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba planned to use PIC funds to bail out failing state-owned enterprises such as SAA.
This week, the Federation of Unions of SA(Fedusa) wrote to Gigaba asking him to appoint union members to the PIC board, The Citizen reported.
"Given the precedence of union representation of the GEPF [Government Employees Pension Fund] board of trustees, and given that Fedusa and its affiliated trade unions, the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of SA, the Public Servants Association, the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwys Unie and the South African Parastatals and Tertiary Institutions have publicly voiced serious concerns about the ongoing threats against the PIC and its CEO, Dr Dan Matjila, we deem it appropriate to formally request you to give effect to the legal provisions in section 6 of the PIC Act," the union reportedly said.
"You, as members of the union, must make sure [the PIC] is protected because it manages your money." -- Cyril Ramaphosa
Cosatu made similar calls.
There were also fears that moves were afoot to remove Matjila, who was reportedly blocking attempts to use PIC funds.
But Matjila denied this last week.
According to Business Day, Matjila said he was not at loggerheads with Gigaba or his deputy.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa reportedly said workers were responsible for making sure state institutions were not used for political ends or to cover up failures.
"You have a say in how your money is being used... a lot needs to be fixed."
According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Ramaphosa said state-owned enterprises needed to be fixed.
"Those state-owned enterprises control 30% of our economy and let me say, they are not working as well as they should. There is a lot that is happening in those state-owned enterprises that need to be fixed."
He also reportedly urged teachers to teach learners how to not be corrupt.