The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) welcomes the long-awaited outcomes of the investigation report conducted by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) regarding section 13B Administrator (Salt Employee Benefits Pty Ltd) and its relationship with the Board of Trustees at the Private Security Sector Provident Fund (PSSPF).
The investigations covered the period of January 2016 to November 2018. The latter was influenced by an anonymous complaint to the FSCA regarding the relationship between Salt EB and the Fund’s Board of Trustees (BoTS). Following these developments, an on-site investigation was conducted which its outcomes subsequently led to the FSCA approaching the courts to place the Fund under curatorship. After engaging with relevant parties (including SATAWU) the Fund was placed under statutory management.
The matters that have been raised in the recently published report show concerning, and unscrupulous conduct on the part of the Fund as well as Salt EB, which include but are not limited to the following factors: Trustees’ abuse and breach of their fiduciary duties, failure to declare glaring and obvious conflicts of interest, failure to act with due care, diligence and good faith, violation of Service Level Agreements (SLA) with no proper justifications given, irregular take-on fees granted at exorbitant amounts, the signing of contracts after the fact (signing contracts only after the work has commenced), and failure to report extremely high expenditures in comparison with other similar funds.
Although the union is a party to the Fund, the FSCA’s investigation report relied on extracts from SATAWU’s forensic report, to expose entrenched corruption and maladministration within institutions mandated to safeguard the interests of the working-class. Both the union’s forensic and FSCA’s investigation reports expose the corrupt and therefore corrosive elements that are part of the capitalist mode of production. The monies which the Fund is meant to guard and protect through a variety of different legal and administrative mechanisms should thus be reflective of this. It comes with great sadness and disappointment that over the past few years, this has not been the case. The Fund and Salt EB acted in bad faith when managing vulnerable workers’ deferred wages through the conscious violation of their fiduciary duties.
Because Trustees are jointly and severally liable, SATAWU calls on the FSCA, through the assistance of various legislation, to impose harsh sanctions on Trustees that unduly benefitted and abused workers’ hard-earned savings. However, we are mindful of the fact that since majority decisions are binding, Trustees to the risk and compliance subcommittee and tender committee, must be subjected to the full might of the law, for making bad recommendations to, and therefore misleading the PSSPF Board of Management.
On the part of Salt EB, it is disappointing that during the investigation 75.5% of its stake was sold to 3Sixty Global Solutions Group Pty Ltd in 2019. Be that as it may, Salt EB continues to be an Administrator in various pension/ provident/ retirement funds. We call upon the Funds where Salt EB is an Administrator to terminate their SLAs with this service provider to avert possible conflicts of interest and bringing the image of the Funds into disrepute as per the damning evidence exposed by the FSCA. We equally call upon the FSCA to deregister and/ or terminate Salt EB’s licence to trade, to avert future corruption, abuse of retirement savings, and violation of fiduciary duties.
For more information, contact
SATAWU General Secretary: Jack Mazibuko: 082 660 4793
SATAWU Deputy General Secretary: Anele Kiet: 071 021 1903