SA to shut Public Enterprises department next year

South Africa’s government intends to shut down the Department of Public Enterprises, which oversees seven of the biggest state companies, when a new administration takes office after elections in about a year’s time.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the closure of the department in his state-of-the-nation address in February, in accordance with a resolution taken by the ruling African National Congress. Power utility Eskom, port and freight-rail operator Transnet and the other companies will then fall under direct control of their line ministries.

“This department is coming to an end,” Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Obed Bapela told lawmakers on Wednesday. “When the president announces the cabinet after the elections, this department will cease to exist and so will its ministry.”

Nadia Valley, the department’s acting director-general, said preparatory work to close the department is under way, pending the issuing of a presidential directive.

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