No, the GEPF has not been consulted on Cosatu's plan to raid pensions for Eskom

The Government Employees Pension Fund says it has not been consulted by the Congress of South African Trade Unions or government to help reduce Eskom debt.

Bruce Whitfield asked Abel Sithole of the GEPF if he has been asked at all whether he's willing to release seven per cent of government employees' pension fund monies to plug the big black hole that is Eskom.

The good news is, no we have not. There was no need to consult because this to me is a proposal. Last time I checked a proposal is not an instruction. So I think it is important to not take it as a fait accompli. My understanding is that Cosatu seems to be having second thoughts. There needs to be a reconsideration.

Abel Sithole, Principal Executive Officer - GEPF

I doubt that the president would do so without speaking to the GEPF. Categorically there's been no attempt to try to tell the GEPF to consider any participation.

Abel Sithole, Principal Executive Officer - GEPF

We do invest in Eskom currently, all of our investments depend on energy and Eskom is the biggest supplier of energy.

But if you would say to the GEPF liquidate some of your portfolios to come up with 200 billion, that would be devastating to the markets. A significant issue; that would have a devastating impact on the markets.

Then of course we need to say what are the terms and conditions under which the GEPF would be required to participate. The proposal does not really give details about how this will be done.

Abel Sithole, Principal Executive Officer - GEPF

For Eskom to pay any debt it actually has to operate, generate electricity, be able to sell that electricity. If Eskom can be fixed to generate surplus, of course in theory that is possible. So I do not think we should in a sense assume that Eskom cannot be fixed.

Abel Sithole, Principal Executive Officer - GEPF

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