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Ramaphosa meets with top executives of state-owned enterprises

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s meeting comes as the African National Congress on Tuesday described the situation at Eskom and South African Airways as a crisis, after the CEOs of both SOEs resigned.

State-owned entity CEOs at a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on 5 June 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa met with CEOs of over 20 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on Wednesday.

The Presidency said Ramaphosa was discussing with the executives the contribution the SOEs could make to economic revitalisation and social development.

“He noted that several entities are facing severe financial and operational challenges that pose great risks to the South African economy,” a statement from the Presidency read.

“In their contributions, several executives highlighted the need for a better definition of the respective mandates of state-owned companies and for government policy to more effectively support their achievement.”

The Presidency said the executives also raised concerns about how government shareholder representatives exercised their oversight responsibility and inconsistencies in the appointment of boards.

“I appreciate the frank and open manner in which the executives have raised their concerns. Their insights and suggestions are truly refreshing and will greatly assist our efforts to revitalise our state owned companies and ensure that they properly perform their mandates,” said Ramaphosa.

The outcomes of the meeting will form part of a programme to provide political oversight and strategic management to "reposition and revitalise SOEs as catalysts for economic growth and development", said the Presidency.

Ramaphosa’s meeting comes as the African National Congress on Tuesday described the situation at Eskom and South African Airways as a crisis, after the CEOs of both SOEs resigned.

The airline's Vuyani Jarana cited a lack of support from the board and executive while the power utility’s Phakamani Radebe stepped aside because of health concerns.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said: “This meeting that the president has set was long overdue. He was called to discuss the challenges and hindrances to optimal delivery that the SOEs may be encountering in the execution of their duties."

The following SOEs were represented at the meeting: Acsa, Alexkor, Armscor, ATNS, Central Energy Fund, DBSA, Denel, Eskom, IDC, Land Bank, Necsa, PetroSA, Prasa, Rand Water, SA Express, SAA, SABC, Safcol, Sanral, SA Post Office, Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, Transnet and Umgeni Water.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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