The Public Servants’ Association (PSA) has issued a letter of demand to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) following a R5 billion bailout extended to Eskom.

“The PSA is alarmed that the GEPF agreed with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to grant a R5 billion bridging loan to Eskom, despite an agreement between the PSA and other unions with the GEPF and the PIC that no GEPF funds would be used to bail out any state-owned company [SoE] or entity before agreement had been reached that their governance had improved sufficiently,” says PSA General Manager Ivan Fredericks.

The PSA’s attorneys on Friday issued a letter detailing the union’s demand to the GEPF’s Principal Executive Officer Abel Sithole.

The PSA required, among other things, disclosure of the full terms of the agreement between the GEPF, the PIC, Eskom, the National Treasury, or any other organ of state under which the bridging loan was provided, including date of payment, interest payable, and terms and date of repayment.

“The PSA, which represented more than 237,000 public servants, also required disclosure of the full terms of the guarantee reportedly provided by government or the National Treasury,” says Fredericks.

In addition, the PSA required the names of persons who concluded the agreements on behalf of the GEPF, and under what authority this was done.

The PSA also wanted similar information relating to the PIC, Eskom, the National Treasury or other organ of state, as well as the names of persons who represented government or the National Treasury in providing the guarantee.

The GEPF should also provide the factors considered in agreeing to the bridging loan, supported by information relating to the application by Eskom, including financial and other information submitted by Eskom.

“The PSA furthermore requires disclosure of the minutes of any meeting of the board of the GEPF where the bridging loan was discussed or approved. The PSA has given the GEPF until 16 February 2018 to provide the information.”

“In addition, a formal request for records relating to this matter in terms of the provisions of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 will be served on the GEPF shortly. The PSA will not allow the reckless handling of public servants’ pension investments and will ensure that transparency prevails,” says Fredericks.