JOHANNESBURG – Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan on Thursday announced changes to the boards of various State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
The announcement follows a meeting of Cabinet held in Cape Town on 23 May where the appointments were confirmed. The Minister will also address other developments in SOCs within the portfolio.
Last week Gordhan said he would work to “recapture” South Africa’s debt-laded state-owned companies after years in which they were milked of billion of rands by politically connected businessmen.
“We will work to ‘re-capture’ the state-owned companies, putting in place strong and ethical boards, re-establishing good governance. We will ensure that, the companies function in line with their mandates, and halt the vicious looting and theft,” he said in his department’s budget vote speech, in a word play on state capture, shorthand for corruption linked to mainly the Gupta family.
Gordhan said he planned to ensure parastatals had competent management teams and viable business plans and were re-orientated to their core functions, which included providing critical infrastructure and creating much needed jobs.
“Improvements in operational performance, and engendering confidence among lenders and the bond market is critical,” he added.
Gordhan also announced that Phakamani Hadebe will be the new CEO of power utility Eskom. It is believed that we was recommended for the position by the Eskom board and was made permanent in the position during the meeting held yesterday.
Cabinet also approved a board for Denel with Monhla Hlahla as chairperson.
Gordhan said during his announcement, “The priority with Eskom is to get the power utility working properly, to get it to be profitable so that it can start paying tax again instead of it being a burden on the state. Many of these entities are going to require legitimate cash. If you have the right boards with the right kinds of experience.SOEs will work. Entities like SA Express had people at the helm who wanted to know how to steal, not how to get the business working.”
Gordhan also said that the board members are all appointed for a three year period and that they are all subject to an annual review.
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE