Gigaba notes with “great concern” South Africans losses in Steinhoff

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba has reacted with  “concern” to the recent revelations on Steinhoff International’s accounting irregularities. 

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) will be conducting an internal audit into the holdings company and is expected to report its findings to Gigaba.

Gigaba also asked South Africans with retirement investments not to worry about losing their life savings as current regulation in South Africa “limits the extent to which any one fund may be invested in any one company”.

Although many retirement investments are most likely safe, the finance minister has asked for the Financial Services Board, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) to look into the retirement funds that may have been affected. 

On Wednesday, Steinhoff shares lost 60% of their value when its chief executive Markus Jooste resigned in the wake of accounting irregularities. The total loss Steinhoff incurred after Jooste resigned was more than R100-billion. 

Gigaba noted that Steinhoff International Holdings, as a listed company on the JSE, was expected to report its accounts with “the highest degree of honesty and integrity” in order “to protect investors from market abuse and financial manipulation”.

Steinhoff’s African businesses include a range of credit-based household goods retailers. The company also has extensive interests in Europe.

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