South Africa

South Africa’s biggest pension fund’s top holdings

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.

Listed Equity

CompanyShares ownedFair value
MTN414,158,957R78.69 billion
Naspers41,033,653R68.28 billion
FirstRand879,536,057R68.13 billion
Anglo American85,211,410R65.65 billion
Standard Bank246,004,348R44.80 billion
Vodacom258,112,161R41.29 billion
Prosus 50,860,822R40.47 billion
Sasol111,181,433R39.46 billion
Capitec15,854,880R37.12 billion
Impala Platinum162,270,514R36.51 billion
British American Tobacco54,300,588R33.48 billion
BHP5,062,323,190R31.33 billion
Sibanye Stillwater2,829,789,481R29.86 billion
Sanlam2,226,974,408R23.90 billion
Richemont5,220,000,000R23.54 billion
Glencore13,150,778,407R18.83 billion
Reinet Investments195,941,286R9.81 billion
Anheuser-Busch1,737,184,838R8.47 billion
Mondi485,553,780R8.26 billion
Investec696,082,618R7.91 billion
Total (including others)R1.22 trillion

Unlisted Equity

CompanyShares OwnedFair value
Pareto4 551 646 134R15.30 billion
ABSA*Not disclosedR13.34 billion
Pan African Infrastructure
Development Fund
Not disclosedR10.13 billion
V & A Waterfront500 000R6.19 billion
ETG Inputs245R3.80 billion
Siyanda Resources508 296R2.58 billion
ADR International Airports SA166 000R2.29 billion
African Bank125 000 000R1.98 billion
AP Venture FundNot disclosedR1.87 billion
Arch Property Fund5 000 000R1.62 billion
Total (Including others)R78.48 billion
*This instrument is an option.


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