Govt takes aim at boosting state entities, economy

Yesterday, Zuma said government has taken measures to revitalise troubled state-owned enterprises.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Government says it recognises the need to make major structural reforms to important economic sectors in South Africa to boost economic growth.

Last night, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings announced they were keeping their ratings unchanged.

Yesterday, President Jacob Zuma said government has taken measures to revitalise troubled state-owned enterprises.

It was announced during a post-cabinet briefing in Pretoria yesterday that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will oversee the turnaround of three state-owned entities namely Eskom, South African Airways and the South African Post Office.

Chief Economist Dr Azar Jammine says Eskom is presenting a number of challenges.

"The fundamental problem is still a lack of skills to ensure the lights stay on."

Eskom has been battling diesel shortages and financial constraints, which has led to rolling blackouts over the last few weeks.

A technical team will ensure other interventions are implemented, such as co-generation opportunities.

Government is implementing an energy mix of solar, wind, coal, gas and nuclear to help increase generating capacity.

Yesterday it was confirmed that Eskom has sufficient funds to continue purchasing diesel until the end of January.

Last month, Moody's Ratings Agency downgraded South Africa's investment grade credit ratings to Baa2 from Baa1 and adjusted the outlook to stable from negative.

Moody's decision keeps South Africa's rating in investment grade.