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Hands off our workers’ pensions! ANC’s absurd plan will alienate investors

The trade union UASA vehemently opposes the ANC’s proposed plans to push private pension and life assurance money into state enterprises and development finance instruments.

We have said it before and will repeat it now: Hands off our personal savings!

The mere fact that this so-called plan is on the ANC’s table for discussion this week borders on the immoral. Out of respect for the country’s workers government should put a stop this plan before it goes one step further.

Everyday we hear and read how workers don’t save enough and how only a very small percentage of South Africans will be able to retire comfortably. This means that a large percentage of South Africans will be dependent on the state when they become too old to work.

Also, the state is currently working on its so-called “retirement reform” process to encourage people to save more. It just makes no sense.

No trustee of a reputable pension fund would ever allow pension fund money to be invested in state development projects. The risk of fraud and corruption is considerable and it is doubtful whether the state will be able to create investment opportunities with a good return on investment on the workers’ savings. The millions of rands out of the civil service pension fund invested in Gauteng’s doomed e-tolling project are a frightening case in point.

South Africa is already suffering as a result of very high unemployment levels, with a lack of investor’s confidence as one of its roots.

This absurd plan is a golden opportunity for the ANC to alienate investors even further.