The Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) owns R2.3 trillion worth of assets, including 22% of MTN, 9% of Naspers, 15% of Standard Bank, and 18% of Sasol.
The GEPF manages pensions and related benefits on behalf of government employees. It is Africa’s largest pension fund, with 450,000 pensioners and beneficiaries.
The benefits that members of the GEPF receive when they retire depend on how much time they contribute to the fund.
Members with less than ten years’ contribution receive a cash gratuity to the value of their contribution plus growth.
Individuals who were a member of the GEPF for longer than ten years receive a gratuity and a monthly cash annuity.
The GEPF has:
- R1.2 trillion worth of listed equity.
- R700 billion worth of domestic bills and bonds.
- R56 billion of unlisted equity.
- R154 billion in foreign collective investment schemes.
The GEPF is the largest client of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), accounting for almost 90% of its assets under management.
The PIC is the asset manager for the GEPF and other government investment schemes, such as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). They make allocation decisions that align with the fund’s investment mandate.
The PIC invests funds on behalf of public-sector entities, including the GEPF and the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The investment arrangements between the GEPF and the PIC are set out in an investment mandate.
Investment mandate and performance
In addition to relatively standard declarations regarding the risk profile of the portfolio and the balance of investments, the GEPF has extra mandates.
For instance, the GEPF integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its investment policies.
“The Fund’s investments should play a developmental role in the South African and broader African economy, and investment decisions may reflect wider stakeholder views,” according to a GEPF investor belief annexure.
The performance of the GEPF over several years has been good.
They have almost doubled their assets under management since 2013. This is similar to the performance of the JSE top 40, which measures the performance of the 40 largest companies in South Africa over the same period.
Companies owned by the GEPF
The GEPF has significant exposure to listed equity, foreign currency, bonds, and other investment instruments.
Here is a summary of the most significant equity holdings of the GEPF when their latest financial report was released for the year ended 31 March 2022.
|Company||Shares owned||Fair value|
|Anglo American||85,211,410||R65.65 billion|
|Standard Bank||246,004,348||R44.80 billion|
|Impala Platinum||162,270,514||R36.51 billion|
|British American Tobacco||54,300,588||R33.48 billion|
|Sibanye Stillwater||2,829,789,481||R29.86 billion|
|Reinet Investments||195,941,286||R9.81 billion|
|Total (including others)||R1.22 trillion|
|Company||Shares Owned||Fair value|
|Pareto||4 551 646 134||R15.30 billion|
|ABSA*||Not disclosed||R13.34 billion|
|Pan African Infrastructure|
|Not disclosed||R10.13 billion|
|V & A Waterfront||500 000||R6.19 billion|
|ETG Inputs||245||R3.80 billion|
|Siyanda Resources||508 296||R2.58 billion|
|ADR International Airports SA||166 000||R2.29 billion|
|African Bank||125 000 000||R1.98 billion|
|AP Venture Fund||Not disclosed||R1.87 billion|
|Arch Property Fund||5 000 000||R1.62 billion|
|Total (Including others)||R78.48 billion|