An interview with Mugwena Maluleke, a board member of the Public Investment Corporation and general secretary of Cosatu affiliate the South African Democratic Teachers Union, on the federation's proposal to raid government employee pension fund savings to rescue Eskom.
Mugwena Maluleke is one of the few trade unionists in SA who holds sway in two important worlds. Maluleke is a board member of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which is the largest asset manager in Africa, managing R1.8-trillion worth of government employee pension savings on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). He is also the general secretary - a de facto CEO role - of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), which is affiliated to labour federation Cosatu and the ANC.
His dual roles have put him in an awkward position since last week when Cosatu proposed that government pension savings (managed by the PIC) and funds managed by state-owned development finance institutions (DFIs) - the Industrial Development Corporation and Development Bank of Southern Africa - should be raided to pay down a portion of Eskom's R450-billion debt.
Cosatu, which discussed the proposal at two National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) meetings last week with policymakers,...