Masilela appointed PIC chief executive

Cabinet has announced the appointment of Elias Masilela, a senior Sanlam executive and leading light in Business Unity South Africa, as the chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation.

The PIC, wholly owned by government, manages the country’s largest pension fund, the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), which oversees more than R900-billion in assets.

Masilela replaces former PIC head Brian Molefe, who left the corporation after his contract was not renewed in April.

Molefe’s term was extended for another three months, until July, before the PIC’s chief investment officer, Dan Matjila, stepped in as acting chief executive.

Masilela, currently head of the policy analysis unit at Sanlam, is also a member of the National Planning Commission in the presidency.

He is involved in Busa as the vice-chair of its standing committee on economic policy, as well as its public finance and monetary policy chamber convener at Nedlac.

Treasury previously indicated that an appointment would be made by the end of November.

“The task would be to take the responsibility of managing this invaluable national asset to higher heights rather than maintain [it]. However, there is no doubt that the challenge is huge,” Masilela said on Thursday.

The PIC has been a vocal investor, most recently declaring its concerns about the black economic empowerment deal announced between steel giant ArcelorMittal South Africa and the Ayigobi Consortium, which includes politically connected figures, most notably Duduzane Zuma, son of President Jacob Zuma.

The PIC said that while the deal fell within the letter of the law, there were concerns about the ethics of the transaction.

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