The Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) would like to provide the latest information on several matters relating to the Fund.
Update on EPPF operations
The Fund’s operations have been affected by the pandemic since March 2020, following the advent of a full country-wide lockdown mandated by the South African government to combat the spread of COVID-19.
We have put measures into place to ensure that you, our key stakeholder, is safe and protected. This is the reason contingency plans were put in place to minimise service disruptions. While ensuring that you continue to receive service, we also need to protect the health of our employees.
Despite everything that is happening in the country and beyond, the Fund has put the following measures in place since the beginning of the national lockdown:
- The EPPF Head Office in Bryanston is open but operating with essential staff at the premises – other employees continue to work remotely
- The EPPF Call Centre is operating within the normal hours (08:00 – 16:45) and employees are being rotated on a weekly basis
- Walk-in consultations are now allowed on an exceptional basis and by appointment only at the Bryanston and Witbank offices. All consultations taking place in the Bryanston office will take place outside the building. A maximum of five people are permitted inside the Witbank office and no one under 18 is permitted inside.
Contact with the EPPF during this period:
- All queries can be directed to the EPPF Call Centre via our toll-free number on 0800 11 45 48 (Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:45) or via email on email@example.com.
- Alternatively, we encourage our members and pensioners to utilise the member portal's self-service functionality. To register or log on to the member portal, please visit www.eppf.co.za.
- The Fund recently launched a mobile app that is accessible through smartphones where information pertaining to your benefits is available. Visit your smartphone app store (Google Play for Android or App Store for Apple devices) today and search for “Eskom Pension and Provident Fund”. Kindly note that you will need to have been registered on the member portal through the EPPF website to access the mobile app.
- Queries can also be directed to Retirement Fund Consultants based in the regions - click here for their contact information and how they are assisting members in the various locations.
We will keep members and pensioners updated with any new developments and channels to receive service and communicate with the Fund.
Update on former Eskom GCEO pension pay-out matter
The former Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Eskom appeared at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry in March and there were questions raised about his pension pay-out.
As the EPPF communicated previously, since 2017, Mr Molefe has appealed the judgment against him to return his pension pay-out to the Fund, through the High Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the Constitutional Court. His Constitutional Court appeal was dismissed in late 2019. The Constitutional Court made a costs award in respect of all three appeals against Mr Molefe. Mr Molefe has settled the cost orders apart from the High Court, which he is disputing. An application to resolve the matter is pending before the High Court.
The effect of the judgement in the main application is that Mr Molefe should not have been a member of the Fund and therefore he should return any pension monies paid to him and the Fund should refund him the contributions he made to the fund. The Fund has filed its application for the return of contributions with the courts. In response, Mr Molefe has requested that his repayment be offset against the contributions he made to the Fund as well as the transfers from his previous pension savings into the Fund that are still held by the Fund. At the same time, the matter involves the South African Revenue Services (SARS) in that they are required to return any tax paid to it on the amounts paid to Mr Molefe plus any interest on that tax amount. SARS still needs to submit its court papers. Once SARS has filed this, the court will issue a date for the hearing.
The matter is receiving Management’s dedicated attention as we continue working with our legal team through the courts to ensure that this matter is adequately resolved.
As part of learning and improvement of membership controls, the Fund has embarked on a process to review its members to confirm their eligibility for membership. This process is ongoing, and we will report on this matter as soon as it is concluded.
Update on Steinhoff matter
The EPPF, like many other investors, was invested in Steinhoff shares. In December 2017 when news surfaced that Steinhoff may have misinformed investors about certain material information about its operations and that there were improprieties perpetrated by its management, the share price fell considerably leading to investors losing a lot of value on their investments.
These Steinhoff shares formed part of the performance benchmark against which investment performance is measured. The EPPF suffered an investment loss of approximately R1,5 billion, which represented around 1% of the Fund’s investment value during December 2017.
The Fund has since joined a class action lawsuit in the Amsterdam District Court, represented by international lawyers BarentsKrans Attorneys, in an effort to recover some of these losses.
BarentsKrans is exploring all legal avenues available to recover the losses and hold those responsible accountable, including participating in legal proceedings in South Africa where appropriate. Lawsuits of this nature are generally complex and take time to conclude. We are determined to keep a close eye on the proceedings to ensure that the interests of the Fund are protected.
We hope that this communication has given you clarity on these matters. You can be assured that the EPPF will continue to hold our members at the centre of everything we do.
Eskom Pension and Provident Fund