A gentleman asks MPs to account for the PIC

As civilised and gentlemanly as this letter is, its authorship and from whence it comes, when combined with its content, make it essential reading. What we have here is a government pensioner questioning in the most reasonable terms imaginable, why parliament is failing in and/or shirking, its constitutional duty of oversight of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). Could it be that the ANC simply doesn’t want to expose how grossly the lifetime pensions of government employees were abused? Heaven forfend, our letter writer wouldn’t dare suggest such a thing! What he does do, in what amounts to profound and powerful demonstration of an ordinary State pensioner’s concerns, is expose just how scornful the administrators of the Public Investment Corporation are of people like him – and more importantly, how parliament appears to be protecting the PIC. How different is this to Judge Raymond Zondo suggesting a commission look into parliamentary oversight during the State Capture years? Also, what does this tell us about the ruling ANC’s concern for ordinary voters, especially those who work for it? – Chris Bateman

Can this letter be brought to the attention of your Chairperson(s) and all committee members PLEASE!

By Christo van Dyk*

Honorable Chairpersons and Committee members.

Just for the record, I am a current GEPF pensioner since 2015, and as such I have a vested interest in the wellbeing of the FUND.

Earlier today, I received the bad news that the GEPF, will after all, not appear in parliament to account in public for the 2018 results as embodied in the 2018 Annual report. There will be no external oversight scrutiny by your committees to facilitate accountability and future improvements at the Fund.

This outcome is disappointing, especially in view of the numerous and pro-active communication and correspondence directed to yourselves since last year.

I do believe GEPF members can rightly feel they have been strung along since early 2017. There never was any real intention to subject the Trustees to a rigorous scrutiny in public as actually demanded by the circumstances currently applicable to the FUND. Circumstances, by design or default, or a combination of both, has now created a convenient way out.

This may ruffle some feathers BUT I do believe I notice similarities in the situation faced by Adrian Lackay. In the end, regardless of the blame shifting, the outcome was that the various committees of parliament could not muster enough synergy to timeously, and with a sense of urgency deal with the serious issues raised by him at that time. It basically took a separate commission of inquiry, and significant resources to deal with it. For a country with limited resources and significant social backlogs, we sure do take the long and scenic route to deal with urgent matters.

Everyone talks about Eskom being too big to fail and the impact it will have on the country. Guess what, if the GEPF is allowed to continue on its current path, Eskom will look like a school picnic.

As with Eskom, the malaise should have been dealt with when it first reared its head, 5 years ago.

At the GEPF, as my analysis shows, the sit back and do nothing period is already 5 years. The clock is ticking.

It’s trusted that the committees deliberate carefully about the issue of the GEPF and how to be creative to facilitate an improvement in the oversight and accountability at my FUND.

If in doubt, please note this, the current situation is not acceptable.

The solution is in your hands.

Please! Do the right thing AND do it quick.

  • Christo van Dyk is a retired auditor and member of AMAGP.