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Impact of Steinhoff International on the EPPF

7 December 2017


Background

The dramatic collapse of the share price of Steinhoff International ("SNH" or "Steinhoff") since last Friday, 1 December 2017, has been very topical. This update seeks to provide the stakeholders with information about the impact of this decline on the value and financial position of the Fund.

 

Context

The story about Steinhoff International revolves around the allegations of serious accounting irregularities that have been levelled by the European financial authorities. The CEO (Mr. Markus Jooste) has resigned from Steinhoff with immediate effect while the non-executive chairman (Mr. Christo Wiese) has stepped in as Executive Chairman.

The company has appointed PwC (who are not the external auditors of Steinhoff) to perform an independent investigation into the allegations. The current external auditors of Steinhoff are Deloitte and have performed the external auditor function since 1998.

The SNH share price has fallen by more than 80% since the end of November 2017, including a 60% drop in one day on 6 December 2017. The share was trading at a price of R11.10 on the morning of 7 December 2017.


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Advice: Take a stand against fraud and protect yourself

23 November 2017

Fraud is a big concern in the retirement fund industry, costing millions and leaving victims frustrated and in other cases even destitute having been swindled off lots of money. Having left a trail of deceit, these fraudsters immediately move on to their next scam, prying on often unsuspecting and desperate people.

Fraud varies in degree of severity. In some instances, millions are stolen from victims and companies or as little as possible but from many people. Nevertheless, the impact it has on victims and their loved-ones is terrifying while companies also have to battle with this scourge. 


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Bonus and Pension Increase Announcement

17 November 2017

Each year the Board of Trustees ("the Board") of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund ("the EPPF" or "the Fund") determines an annual pension increase, in accordance with the Fund's pension increase policy.  It is also the Fund's established practice to pay a once-off pensioner bonus.

The pension increase policy of the Fund is to target, but not guarantee, a pension increase on 1 January each year equal to the year-on-year increase in the Consumer Price Index (as published by Statistics South Africa).  If the Fund's investment performance over the period to the preceding 30 June is such that it cannot afford such an increase, the Trustees will grant a lower increase that can be afforded without placing a strain on the Fund.

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Update: Former Eskom GCEO pension pay-out

17 November 2017

As you may have observed in the media, on 20 October this year, the EPPF appeared before Parliament's Public Enterprises Committee which has been tasked with the  Inquiry into alleged state capture at 3 State-Owned Enterprises (the SOEs). Although this ongoing inquiry is broad and focuses on the SOEs, the matter of the pension pay-out to the former Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd (Eskom) Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Mr Brian Molefe, saw the EPPF requested by the Parliamentary Committee, to provide evidence, on the facts surrounding the retirement arrangement of the former GCEO within the EPPF's knowledge.

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Update: Unauthorised Debit Orders

17 November 2017

There have been some developments with regards to the unauthorised debit orders that affected some EPPF Pensioners around 31 May 2017. The EPPF was awaiting feedback from all stakeholders to ensure that we can provide our members with more accurate and consolidated feedback. Our last update on the matter, sent out on 20 July 2017, advised that the Fund was investigating the matter as the issue of how the debit order company could have obtained the banking details of our members is of great concern to us. We have since taken further steps regarding this issue.

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 News Archive

 

EPPF's Affordable Housing Investment to Positively Impact SA's Development

The EPPF is pleased to announce that on 8 April 2014 it signed an agreement to commit R100m to International Housing Solutions (IHS) as part of the financing for a project to build 20 000 affordable homes across South Africa.  

The EPPF is proud to partner in this endeavor with IHS, which is a global private equity firm at the forefront of affordable housing development in South Africa. IHS partners with financial institutions, real estate developers and local government authorities to provide equity finance for housing projects and has a proven track record of enabling the building of quality communities while maintaining the highest levels of oversight and financial due diligence.

The partnership with IHS will provide affordable housing for households with an income between R3 500 and R18 000 per month. This segment of the housing market is also known as the "gap market" because it consists of people who earn too much to qualify for low cost government subsidized housing, but do not earn enough to afford housing in the private sector market or do not qualify for bonds. 

The agreement forms part of the EPPF's Development Impact (DI) portfolio and is the largest investment made under the portfolio by the EPPF to date. The DI portfolio focuses on investments in the following sectors:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Renewable Energy
  • Social Infrastructure (Education and Healthcare); and
  • Initiatives that support black SMEs.

The venue of the signing, Liliesleaf Farm, was most appropriate as a key historical monument of our democracy. As an issue at the forefront of South Africa's national agenda, the provision of housing and access to affordable homes is an integral part of the realisation of the principles upon which our constitution and democracy are built.

Investments into Affordable Housing have shown the ability to improve both social circumstances of thousands of people, while providing superior returns to investors for that sector. By making this investment through IHS, the EPPF will be making a positive socio-economic impact on thousands of South African lives by helping to create property investments for families, creating new communities, creating jobs, while also creating returns for its members, pensioners and beneficiaries.

As the second largest pension fund in South Africa in terms of assets under management, the EPPF is one of the leading institutional funds in the country, both in its approach to providing competitive benefits to its beneficiaries and in contributing to the country's social and economic development through its investment strategy. The implementation of the EPPF's Development Impact Policy demonstrates the EPPF's commitment as a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Socially Responsible Investing and the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa.

Development Impact projects in which the EPPF has invested include a co-investment in Van Schaik Bookstores in order to facilitate education. The portfolio has also invested in Futuregrowth's Community Property Fund, which invests in malls around townships, with a view to support black SMEs and stimulate economic growth in previously disadvantaged areas.

Please click here to view an interview on the partnership on CNBC Africa.

For more information on the IHS, go to www.ihsinvestments.co.za.​