cosatuBL Premium reports that Cosatu’s proposal that pension funds invest in Eskom to give it a way out of its debt trap, which is now under discussion with business and government, is taking on a more market-friendly form as discussions progress.  

The trade union federation, which made a presentation to parliament’s committee on public enterprises on Wednesday, said it was committed to ensuring that investments by pension funds in Eskom were in line with investor mandates.  This would mean any investment necessarily had to command an inflation-beating return.  "The Public Investment Commission [PIC] has clear mandates by law. They must meet their fiduciary duties; they must ensure this meets their investment criteria. They must get a mandate from the Government Employees Pension Fund or the UIF and if there are additional criteria they want to add for Eskom, we will support that 100%," said Cosatu’s parliamentary officer, Matthew Parks.  In the talks, business has insisted that investment mandates be honoured and fiduciary duties and governance of the financial sector not be compromised.  The proposal has also been tempered by the response of Cosatu’s own members and other union federations, which took fright at the idea that their pensions would be at risk. Solidarity has said it will fight in the courts any attempt to put government pensions into Eskom.


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