Godongwana was reported as saying the asset management industry, which includes pension funds, insurers and other investors, is sitting on R6-trillion and should lend some of this to the State.
He said this would be better than the government’s approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Bank for a bailout.
The IRR has long warned of the likelihood of the ANC’s going this route, and of the consequences for millions of ordinary South Africans, and for the economy. It has mounted a vigorous campaign to oppose prescribed assets.
Godongwana’s comments also prompted a warning from Democratic Alliance shadow minister of finance Geordin Hill-Lewis that ‘if the ANC was serious about growing the economy, and attracting investment, this would be the very worst thing to do.’
He added: ‘Godongwana’s comments signal the ANC is even prepared to return to the last-ditch, desperate measures taken by the National Party apartheid government, which also imposed prescribed assets when that government ran out of money to fund its many failed programmes.’
Hill-Lewis said: ‘Asset prescription is an irresponsible and unacceptable policy proposal. It should be rejected by every South African who has their life savings in their pension funds, and whose future financial security depends on the responsible management of those funds.’
Echoing the IRR’s repeated warnings, Hill-Lewis said ‘prescribed assets’ was merely ‘a euphemism for forcing pension funds, banks and insurance companies to lend money to bankrupt state entities like Eskom and SAA’.
First published on Daily Friend