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National & Provincial
Mar 19 2012 7:48AM
 
E-tolls are financed by ‘employees’
The e-tolls built on Gauteng's highways have caused much controversy. Photo: Gallo Images
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Luzuko Pongoma

Government employees are some of the creditors who gave the South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral) money to build e-tolls in Gauteng.

Cosatu said it was not wise for the Government Employees’ Pension Fund (GEPF) to invest in the controversial system.

The GEPF holds about 50% of Sanral bonds, valued at about R15.7bn. Arthur Moloto, chairperson of the GEPF board of trustees, said there was no cover-up.

Moloto said their investment was in conventional and inflation-linked bonds, issued by the government and state-owned entities (including Sanral) was informed by their investment policy, which takes into account long-term liabilities as a pension fund.

“The crafting of our investment policy is done in consultation with the Minister of Finance, who acts as a guarantor of the fund.

Moloto said GEPF held other bonds, which included 63.22% of Eskom bonds, 60.84% Transnet, 12.39% Telkom, 9.32% Airports Company of South Africa, 50.93% Trans-Caledon Tunnelling Authority, and 53.30% Development Bank of Southern Africa, valued at about R114.2bn in total.

He said they viewed investment in economic infrastructure, including the country’s road network, as critical to the growth of the South African economy.

“We believe these investments are in the best interests of our members, 1.2 million public servants and 345 000 pensioners in the long term,” said Moloto.

Patrick Craven, spokesperson for Cosatu, said that every cent that was invested in the Sanral project should be given back to workers. “It was unwise of them to invest in a project so controversial,” he said.

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