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Banking association urges govt to prioritise SOEs, build capacity

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the CEOs of parastatals who cited problems including that of political interference.

Picture: Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG – The Banking Association of South Africa said the government has to make difficult decisions on which state-owned entities were strategic and could be viable.

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the CEOs of parastatals who cited problems including that of political interference.

The meeting followed the resignation of Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe and South African Airways (SAA) CEO Vuyani Jarana.

Government oversees 131 state-owned entities in total.

Ramaphosa met with the CEOs of just more than 20 SOEs to redefine their role and contribution to the fiscus.

Some have not made a profit in years like the SAA the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and Eskom.

The Banking Association managing director Cas Coovadia said some SOEs, which were strategic and could be viable for the state, like Eskom and Transnet, needed to be prioritised.

“They need to ensure that they’re structured appropriately, that they have the appropriate capacity. And then I think, the public and private sector can work together to ensure some sort of viability within the organisations.”

Coovadia said the government needed to take hard decisions on whether other SOEs were feasible but stopped short of saying whether these should be closed down.

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