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The UIF Advisory Board expresses concerns in the wake of Steinhoff scandal

by lloyd last modified 2017-12-15 09:56

PRETORIA – The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Advisory Board, as advised by the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant met with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on the 14th December 2017 to discuss the Steinhoff debacle.

The Board has expressed concern over reports of possible fraud and corporate governance failure at Steinhoff. As the custodian of workers’ funds, the Board is of the view that mismanagement of company by the Steinhoff board and management puts employees’ funds at risk and cannot be tolerated. The Board’s understanding is that Steinhoff currently employs approximately 43 000 people locally, including the rest of the continent, who may be affected by this conduct.

The UIF has invested in this company through the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). On the 5th of December 2017 UIF held 2.04 % shares in Steinhoff. Despite the fact that the UIF’s unrealised losses on 6 December 2017 stood at 0.4% of the total UIF portfolio, the Advisory Board nevertheless remains concerned. 

PIC has confirmed that in spite of the fall in Steinhoff’s shares, the UIF portfolio is in good shape, given the diversified nature of the portfolio. The Board supports and is satisfied with efforts by the PIC, which amongst others includes insistence on the appointment of at least two independent non-executive directors on the Steinhoff and Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR) boards and representation on the Board Committee tasked with investigating the Steinhoff situation to ensure that the process is transparent.

The Board is confident that investigations by regulatory authorities, including the JSE will be fast tracked in the interest of restoring confidence in the regulatory environment to prevent further losses to worker’s funds and ensure job security.

Engagements between the Board and PIC will continue until such time that this matter is finalised.
 
Enquiries should be directed to:
 
Makhosonke Buthelezi
UIF Communication & Marketing
Mobile: 071 491 7236 or
Email: Makhosonke.Buthelezi@labour.gov.za





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