President Cyril Ramaphosa and leaders of South Africa’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have met to discuss the way forward for the parastatals hit hard by corruption allegations in the past nine years.
The SOEs allegedly became easy targets of state capture (corruption) by former president Jacob Zuma’s family friends from India – the exiled Gupta Brothers.
Meeting chief executive officers of over 20 key state-owned companies (SOCs) in Pretoria, the gathering was called to discuss the contribution these SOEs could make to economic revitalisation and social development of the country, the high office said on Thursday, 6 June 2019.
The presidency said the executives’ input at the meeting with the president will form part of the initial programme of the Presidential SOC Council that Ramaphosa announced earlier this year.
The council will provide political oversight and strategic management to reposition and revitalise SOCs as catalysts for economic growth and development.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the presidency said the executives raised various concerns regarding the legal and regulatory environment within which SOCs operate, which are often ill-suited to the specific needs of entities and constrain innovation.
“They also raised challenges about the exercise – by government shareholder representatives – of their oversight responsibility and inconsistency in the appointment of boards,” the presidency said.
Ramaphosa is said to have requested the meeting to hear the views of the executive leadership of strategic state entities on the challenges they confront in implementing their mandates and the opportunities they have identified to strengthen the SEO sector.