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‘Range of measures being considered to strengthen State-owned entities’

Parastatals that become irrelevant could be phased out, while a possible merger is on the cards for SAA.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says a "range of measures" are being considered to strengthen ailing State-owned Entities before recommendations are sent to Cabinet on what steps to take.

Parastatals that have become irrelevant could be phased out, while a possible merger is on the cards for the loss-making national carrier.

Government is considering merging South African Airways and South African Express, and the possible introduction of a minority equity partner.

Ramaphosa was answering questions on the issue in the National Assembly earlier this afternoon.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane asked Ramaphosa whether a shift in the government's approach to funding SAA will apply to other ailing State-owned enterprises.

"Can we, in fact, expect a shift to approach towards the partial or full privatisation of all State-owned enterprises that are in the same or similar financial positions of that of SAA?"

Ramaphosa warned him not to get ahead of himself.

"There is still a matter of discussion and the debate within the [Inter-Ministerial Committee]. Whereafter the IMC's recommendations will then be sent to Cabinet."

The deputy president has assured Members of Parliament the interests of employees will be protected when parastatals are restructured.