South Africa has released a draft law that will facilitate the creation of a holding company to house struggling power utility Eskom, rail and port operator Transnet and other state-owned enterprises.
The National State Enterprises Bill, which will enable the formation of the State Asset Management SOC, was released for comment on Friday by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The Department of Public Enterprises, which currently oversees the state companies and answers to Gordhan, will be phased out as the holding company is brought into effect.
The reform will consolidate the state’s shareholdings within a single entity and define the holding company’s powers, the draft legislation reads.
The move follows years of mismanagement and corruption at state companies that cost South African taxpayers billions of rand. Eskom’s failure to meet electricity demand is has resulted in years of blackouts that have constrained output, while Transnet’s inability to run rail operations at capacity impairs mineral exports.
Should the bill pass, the new company will likely be established after the next government takes office after next year’s election.