Gigaba: Private sector should have greater ownership of struggling SOEs

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has spoken about the recent corruption allegations.

South African Airways plane. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says the private sector should have greater ownership of struggling state-owned enterprises.

As part of his 14-point economic plan to kickstart growth, Gigaba says his ministry will implement a "private sector participation framework" by March next year.

“We need to strategically use the government guarantees, utilise them to support infrastructure, investments and capital expansion rather than to finance operations, losses and inefficiencies in the SOEs.”

The minister also addressed the recent corruption allegations linked to the controversial Gupta family.

This follows claims of government corruption revealed in over 100,000 leaked emails, known as the Gupta leak s.

The emails suggest that the family and some ministers have interfered with tender processes.

Gigaba concedes that the claims had an enormous bearing on confidence and says they should be dealt with swiftly.

The minister says he fully supports a commission of inquiry into state capture.

“With regard to the debate of monopoly capital versus white monopoly capital and the land reform programme, the ANC policy documents have flagged those issues for finalisation in December.”

He also warned that South Africa faces tough Budget decisions this year as the country has entered its first recession since 2009.

He says going into the October medium budget, the country is far from achieving its growth target.

“The economy has just entered into a recession after several years of slow growth. Lower than expected growth is likely this year which will put a strain on our fiscal framework.”

He adds the country needs to urgently begin reducing poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Gigaba says the current economic situation means government has to make difficult choices ahead of the medium-term budget policy statement later this year.

“We also call upon social partners to engage proactively on practical initiatives to bring about inclusive growth and economic transformation. We need all our collective leadership, initiative, imagination and ingenuity.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)