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Gigaba: State owned companies struggling

Minister Malusi Gigaba says his department has been forced to support various state entities.

Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba speaks at a news conference in Kempton Park on 15 October 2012, following an annual general meeting of the South African Airways. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday said the department would be forced to support certain state owned companies for quite some time.

Speaking to the Cape Town Press Club, Gigaba alluded to announcements he would be making about these parastatals during his budget speech next week.

Citing billion Rand losses by South African Airways (SAA) and National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa)'s decision not to grant a 16 percent electricity tariff increase, Gigaba spoke openly about the financial role his department has been forced to play to keep the entities afloat.

He spoke at length about each of the parastatals.

He said the national carrier will once again report a multimillion Rand loss in the current financial year.

The airline ran a loss of R1.3 billion in the last financial year.

In April, the airline appointed a new CEO after the Board of Directors of SAA suspended the national carrier's acting CEO, Vuyisile Kona, earlier in 2013.

On the issue of load-shedding, Gigaba said while he welcomed Nersa's eight percent increase tariff it did very little to help Eskom.

He said this forced the department to review the regulator's decision.

However, he added despite all the challenges facing the state enterprises he was confident they will one day operate with minimal government support.

"The implementation of this long term turnaround strategy will require support whether it's financial or otherwise. SAA has had a lot of turnaround strategies; all of them not implemented."