Cosatu’s investment vehicle splutters

Trade union federation Cosatu’s investment arm, Kopano Ke Matla Investment Company (KKMIC), woes are deepening, with its CEO Stephen Nthite pondering on whether to reveal the true extent of the group’s financial problems to creditors.

Kopano Ke Matla is a wholly owned investment company of a trust whose sole beneficiary is Cosatu.

Sunday World has seen an e-mail dated September 11 in which Nthite tells his colleagues that he will get legal advice on what information he can reveal to the company’s creditors.

“I am going to the PIC [Public Investment Corporation] for meeting and after that I will check with Cheadle Thompson over how much I must disclose to creditors. There are serious implications, and secondly, such letters can be used in the media or maliciously by creditors with bad intentions,” Nthite wrote.

KKMIC said “we never consulted Cheadle Thompson or any lawyer as you allege and the CEO never wrote any letter to any creditor as pushed aggressively by the three managers you refer to”.

Sunday World reported two weeks ago that KKMIC had been struggling to pay its staff their full salaries for several months due to cash-flow problems. The employees have raised their displeasure with the top leadership of Cosatu.

However, it seems the company’s employees are nowhere close to receiving their full salaries.

In a letter to staff last week, Nthite said they were experiencing financial difficulties.

“This is a follow-up communication on the letters that I sent on the 19 June 2020 and 24 August 2020 regarding the anticipated delay in the payment of salaries. I regret to inform you that the full August 2020 and September 2020 salaries will be further delayed than anticipated and will only be paid end of October 2020,” the letters read.

“We kindly request you to make the necessary arrangements with banks and other creditors. Like many companies, we were affected by the lockdown in all transactions we were closing to beef up cashflow.”

However, a mole in the company said COVID-19 and the lockdown were convenient excuses to mask the terrible financial position of the company.

“We were battling to pay our creditors long before the lockdown. This company is on its knees and Cosatu is folding its arms while the workers are struggling to make ends meet, yet they are always on TV bashing companies for mistreating workers,” a disgruntled employee shared.

Cosatu did not respond to questions sent on Thursday.

KKMIC has been a poisoned chalice for Cosatu for several years. Testimony led at the State Capture Commission by Cadiz Corporate Solutions last year fingered KKMIC in having got a share from a fraudulent R657-million windfall that Transnet paid to China North Rail consortium to manufacture locomotives for the state entity.


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