Govt pensions investment ‘real reason’ for e-tolling push

2012-04-20 09:21

If the Gauteng e-toll project fails, the government will have to bail out the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), as well as the civil servants’ pension fund, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has said.

Chairperson of the board of trustees of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), Arthur Moloto, confirmed that as of the end of February, it held roughly 50% of Sanral bonds valued at about R15.7 billion, Beeld newspaper reported today.

The money was invested by the Public Investment Corporation, which is owned by government and manages investment funds on behalf of public sector entities. The investment corporation’s clients include the GEPF.

Moloto said in a statement to the daily newspaper that the GEPF had nothing to hide, and that all investments had been tabled in Parliament, in the investment corporation’s 2010/11 yearly report.

However, the IFP said the investment was the real reason behind government’s push to ensure the controversial Gauteng e-tolling project succeeds.

The IFP’s finance spokesperson Narend Singh said it was finally clear why government wanted to save this project at all cost, regardless of public opposition and the obvious unfeasibility of the scheme.

A failure of the toll system would be disastrous, Singh warned.

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