DA welcomes PIC probe, pushes for speedy PIC law amendments

The Democratic Alliance welcomed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s decision to institute an independent inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation, saying "hardly a day [went] by" without a new scandal emerging at the PIC.

Nene announced the independent inquiry earlier on Wednesday, after meeting with the PIC board of directors.

PIC CEO Dan Matjila is accused of facilitating irregular payments from the PIC’s funds.

Among other allegations, the inquiry is expected to investigate claims that Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs Zweli Mkhize received R4.5m for facilitating a R210m loan from the PIC.

Investments into entities such as VBS Mutual Bank, Steinhoff, Ayo Technology Solutions and Sagarmatha Technologies are also expected to face scrutiny.

Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier said in a statement that the independent inquiry would get to the bottom of various allegations and begin to restore public trust in the PIC.

"However, there is now a risk that the outcome of the independent inquiry may be used as an excuse to put important legislation, aimed at strengthening governance and boosting transparency at the Public Investment Corporation, on ice in Parliament," said Maynier.

Maynier said South Africa could not afford delays in passing legislation, namely the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bills. There are two amendments bills to the Public Investment Corporation Act, one being a private member’s bill introduced by Maynier and the other being a committee bill.

He said these two draft laws would allow for stronger safeguards against the abuse of funds which go through the PIC. 

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