Restoring SA’s economy tops agenda of SOE council chaired by Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa chaired a virtual inaugural meeting of the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Council on Thursday in a bid to strengthen the framework governing the entities‚ the presidency said in a statement.

The government has spent R187bn bailing out and recapitalising state-owned entities over the past two decades. File photo. – Image: John Liebenberg

Acting spokesperson Tyrone Seale said top of the meeting agenda was the economic reconstruction and recovery plan‚ aimed at restoring the country’s economy as well as an overview of state-owned enterprises and the terms of reference of the council.

Ramaphosa appointed members of the council in June to support the government in repositioning SOEs as effective instruments of economic transformation and development.

“Through the council‚ government intends to create alignment between all state-owned companies and to better define their respective mandates. The council will also work with the leadership of SOEs to develop a legal and regulatory environment that promotes innovation and agility and enhances their competitiveness‚” said Seale.

“The Presidential SOE Council will undertake a process of rationalisation of SOEs to ensure entities serve strategic economic and developmental purposes.”

He said the collective was convened as a council to strengthen the framework governing SOEs through‚ among other initiatives‚ the introduction of an overarching act governing the state entities‚ and the determination of an appropriate shareholder ownership model.

“The council will review business models‚ capital structure and sources of financing for SOEs and monitor and mitigate risks.”

During a question-and-answer session in parliament in August‚ finance minister Tito Mboweni revealed that the government had spent a staggering R187bn bailing out and recapitalising SOEs over the past two decades.

TimesLIVE reported that Mboweni was responding to a DA question seeking the cumulative amount spent on bailouts for SOEs since April 27 1994.

The questions and answers related to Eskom‚ SAA. Denel‚ Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa)‚ PetrolSA‚ the SABC‚ Post Office and Transnet since the dawn of democracy.

In his reply‚ Mboweni said information dating back to 1994 was not available but the accumulative sum spent on SOE recapitalisation and bailouts between 2000/01 and 2019/2020 amounted to R187.4bn.

By: Amanda Khoza – TimesLIVE

Source: ARENA Holdings.

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