The author looks at Trevor Manuel’s complicity in commodification of basic services to citizens in line with IMF and World Bank. He was part of Old Mutual and Sanlam’s demutualisation project. Guess what….He is now the chairman of Old Mutual and his wife, Maria Ramos sat on the board of Sanlam. Johann Rupert hosted their wedding at his wine farm.
Water, Between 1999 – 2000 Bolivia, Cochabamba Water War, experienced a series of protests in response to the water privatisation of the city’s municipal water supply. Soweto experienced the same against the same water company.
In a 2002 publication the World Bank acknowledged that one of its loans, the “Major Cities Water and Sewerage Rehabilitation Project”, included a condition to privatize the La Paz and Cochabamba water utilities. The privatization was required to allow a two-year extension of the project that was due to close in 1995. So this is how the World Bank enforce privatization. But who promotes them is the question we should all ask.
In 1999 Trevor Manuel put enormous pressure on municipalities to impose commodification on citizens.
The residents of Soweto rebelled and the French company Suez and was eventually evicted from managing Johannesburg’s water in 2006. Read it here https://mg.co.za/article/2006-07-24-soweto-starts-its-water-war
In the late 1990’s former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel stated this;
“Our relationship with the World Bank is generally structured around the reservoir of knowledge in the Bank”
A “reservoir of knowledge” he said, how apt a pun for his stinking agenda.
World Bank Domination Agenda
“Inappropriate public policies, including water privatisation, often stem directly from Washington loan or debt relief conditionalities. The UNDP’s Urban Management Programme, the World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade Organisation have been pushing water commercialisation for years across Africa.
Read this important report
In 1996 Trevor Manuel imposed – without consultation – a neoliberal economic policy partly designed by World Bank.
In 1995 the World Bank also advised Kader Asmal, then Water Minister, not to provide the free water promised by government in the 1994 Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). Do not blame your government, sift out those who infiltrate your government.
In 2003, 275 000 families faced water cutoffs due to non-payment yet finance ministers are deified and overlooked for their wrongs.
Finance ministers should be held accountable for privatisation of natural resources because! IT IS AN ASSAULT ON POVERTY and people in general. When their agendas contradict policies and ideals of our government which prioritises the obliteration of poverty, then it exposes their persuasion tactics only to satisfy the avaricious opposition, their real employers, who profit off disadvantaged masses. And if my suspicion seems like a conspiracy against Manuel, then you decide for yourself. His following resume should put him in contempt.
In 2000 he chaired the World Bank/IMF board of governors.
Between 2001 – 2005 he served the World Bank’s Development Committee.
In 2002 he was one of two United Nations special envoys to the Monterrey Financing for Development summit.
2004 – 2005 he was a member of Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa.
In 2007 he chaired the 2007 G20 summit.
Again in 2008 he was appointed UN Special Envoy for Development Finance.
In 2009 he headed a IMF committee
In 2010 he served on the UN’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance.
Trevor Manuel was trusted by two presidents for 15 years in the hope he would carry-out their, and the ANC’s goals for all South Africans but it is clear he had no such intentions at all. In fact he served the interests of organisations which ruined many poor countries. In 2016/17 he was vocal against President Jacob Zuma and all I gathered from his hubris, is deflection of his own bullshit intent for self-enrichment and secured himself a job for life with the very organisation, Rotchchild, that hurts our country today. He is the same immoral man who supports the “memorial faction cadres” to SAVE South Africa. He sits on all the questionable boards, from Old Mutual to you figure it out. He lacks conscience and integrity. It’s time South Africans call for his accountability
“COSATU has noted with dismay the decision today of the National Council of Provinces to pass through legislation allowing Old Mutual and Sanlam to go ahead with their demutualisation plans. We regret this hasty action on the basis that we are currently engaged with both the ANC and the companies concerned on this issue.
— COSATU (1998 Press Statement)
In 1996 the Social Equity and Job Creation document COSATU, together with the other major trade union federations, argued that: “Mutual insurance companies such as Old Mutual and Sanlam are nominally controlled by policy-holders, but in practice are controlled by their managers. These companies control and manage large sums of provident fund contributions from workers yet grant no real ownership rights to workers”.
Through all COSATU’s attempt, the bill was passed and demutualization continued with the influence of (then) Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and ‘coincidentally’ now chairs Old Mutual. One has to wonder with suspicion why this man wants to SAVE South Africa, considering his questionable intent.
It is my view that COSATU rightfully questioned important facts;
1. What management stands to gain from demutualisation?
2. Why were they suspiciously concerned?
Based on facts that management in other countries used such schemes to enrich themselves, it seemed reasonable to endeavour on protecting the beneficiaries from a scheme they hardly understood.
COSATU’s ultimate concern was real transformation of the two mutual companies control by the policyholders. Moreover concerned about the voting method that approved demutualisation at the time, specifically noting this;
1 policy holder = the vote of a fund of policy holders.
Think of it this way, administrators of the fund had the say over its contributors and that strength equates to the power over let’s say one apposing policy holder. Or am I missing something here?
COSATU’s concern was that Sanlam and Old Mutual seeking to list on London exchange was not in alignment with South Africa’s economic transformation goals and I completely agree.
Arguably demutualsation did not serve public interest, instead served management.
In 2003 Old Mutual policyholders and shareholders were concerned whether their best interests were served when Old Mutual management demutualised.
Prior to demutualisation, policyholders were effective owners of Old Mutual and Sanlam (think of who the ‘majority’ policy holders were) until the vote scheme lured them with their own money in exchange for “free shares”. In other words swapped their ‘control’ as policyholders to shareholders. As a result very poor investment decisions were made such as purchasing a string of international questionable companies at high prices and selling off at great losses, even having to pay out billions of dollars due to criminal CEO’s. Through all this, top Old Mutual executives received ridiculous remuneration, pension and incentive packages and to this day are remunerated with exorbitant bonuses.
In 1999 Trevor Manuel stated this in his Budget Speech, promoting this rotten scheme.
“Once demutualisation is completed in the latter part of this year the Umsobomvu Fund is expected to have in the order of R1 billion of capital and will be in a position to start investing in training and development programmes for young people.”
Having read through various media and case studies regarding demutualisation, I couldn’t understand why COSATU urged people against demutualisation until!
I realised that pension funds were and still are worth billions and you have to ask the ‘majority’ race vs ‘minority’ race wealth question, that is;
1. Firstly, Who ‘contributed’, not who benefited, the greater amount?
2. Was the vote for demutualisation “1 policy holder = the vote of a fund of policy holders” empowering to benefit the minority without fair consent from the majority? I am certain of this – but you decide for yourself.
The fact that huge sums go unclaimed by early Mineworkers, Industrial workers, and we still find economic imbalance, this disparity could only suggest the majority was once again outwitted from their rightful historic wealth, then invested the majority’s hard earned money outside the domain of South Africa leaving them with no say when failed dealings and huge incentives were earned. Arguably if these companies, along with the questionable Finance Minister, had any good intent, they could’ve empowered the South African people with South Africans own money.
The fact that Anglo-American, a mining corporation, was also demutualised at the time, seems clear to me the fear of expropriation, addressing historic wealth and mineral resource ownership, would seem relevantly smart to move their headquarters outside our borders to perhaps protect themselves from potential laws that could’ve risked their ownership. It makes no sense otherwise. My suspicions may be somewhat flawed but I assert with confidence that the freedom from apartheid has served a wealthy few and screwed over the deserving South Africans and therefore! The only logically fair solution would be to nationalise, take back your resources and demand compensation.