Same old, same old. ANC politics trumping science, economics on lockdown

I wasn’t surprised to hear that after his relocation to the US, long-time head of Goldman Sachs in SA Colin Coleman landed plum assignments at both Yale University and the Eurasia Group. Coleman is a class act. Ditto Harvard’s ivy league rival and the highly respected global political risk consultancy.

While Coleman feeds in at an advisory level, direct responsibility for Eurasia’s research into SA lies with widely travelled former diplomat Darias Jonker, the consultancy’s director for Africa. From the chat we had last night, the message he is giving to and getting back from Eurasia’s multinational clients isn’t good.

Jonker says ANC internal politics are behind the government’s frustratingly obtuse approach to the Covid-19 lockdown. He says multinationals with operations in SA and portfolio investors who own the country’s bonds are “very worried”. The longer the lockdown drags on, Jonker says, the bigger the eventual bailout required.

With an $8bn hole to be filled, he says it is now a matter of “when” not “if” the State plunders pensions of its citizens (through new prescribed asset requirements) or agrees to conditional loans from the International Monetary Fund. A liability that’s growing daily as internal ANC politics trumps science and economics. Same old, same old.

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Comment from Biznews community member AP Stemmet:

Question:

The legal position is very clear: investments of funds belonging to the pension fund should only be invested to with a view to sustain or grow the fund. Otherwise it will be illegal.

The question then arises what the position will be when prescribed assets are enforced by law as foreseen in this article. How constitutional will this new law be?

What can be done to prevent the govt from looting the Gepf? Will the unions oppose such steps will obviously not in the interest of the workers and pensioners? Can we rely on the politicians, Board of Trustees of the Gepf, unions in this matter?

AP Stemmet,

Amagp spokesman.

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