Mmusi Maimane at the DA's Worker's Day rally in Cape Town. (Supplied, DA)
"The ANC is coming for your pensions," DA leader Mmusi Maimane charged in his address at the party’s Worker’s Day rally in Cape Town on Wednesday.
"State-owned enterprises are so chronically corrupt and bankrupt that they need still more of our money. And so, in the ANC’s manifesto, they speak about 'prescribed assets'.
"What the ANC and Cyril Ramaphosa mean by 'prescribed assets' is that they are planning to force us to invest our pensions in these failing state-owned enterprises. Due to their own failures in government, they are now looking to make laws that force the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and private pension funds to use our pensions to keep these entities going, so that they can mask their failures and keep stealing."
In February, City Press reported that in terms of the law, government could force pension funds to put sizeable investments in social infrastructure by enacting legislation, an idea contained in the ANC’s election manifesto.
"We will investigate the introduction of prescribed assets on financial institutions' funds to unlock resources for investments in social and economic development," the party’s manifesto reads.
Ramaphosa has been travelling across the globe to raise R1.3 trillion in foreign direct investment over the next five years, and ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile told the publication that the money from pension funds could complement Ramaphosa’s efforts and similarly boost domestic investment.
Maimane told workers to "think about how you can protect your financial freedom and your future going forwards".
"And I am here to put it to you straight that the party that will best protect your financial freedom is the DA. The DA will stand with workers and we will fight this. We will fight the PIC Bill to protect the hard-earned pensions of South Africa’s workers. We will fight in Parliament for financial freedom and protection of your hard-earned pension savings."
Ten million people are jobless, and those who are employed are "losing more and more of our income to the greedy and corrupt ANC that is looking for more and more ways to feed its connected crooks and cronies".
"With every passing month, our wages and earnings buy us less as we pay more for electricity, fuel and VAT to feed ANC corruption and to cover for ANC failure at Eskom, SAA, Prasa and other state-owned enterprises. The latest increase came just last night, when the price of petrol went up by another 54c per litre."
Should the DA be elected into national government, the part would introduce a Jobs Act to serve as an economic stimulus shock, Maimane promised.
"We want to make doing business as easy as possible for companies that want to invest and create jobs in South Africa. South Africans are incredibly innovative and entrepreneurial, and that must be encouraged. This is what real freedom is all about," he said.
"In democratic South Africa, the fight for freedom happens at the ballot box."
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