Ramaphosa: SOEs have critical role to play and won’t be privatised

The president was replying to debate on his State of the Nation Address at a joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has reaffirmed government’s plans to support ailing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and made it clear that there’s no intention to privatise them.

Ramaphosa was replying to debate on his State of the Nation Address at a joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday.

He did not respond directly to criticism from opposition benches, instead saying he welcomed all the inputs made and insisted the government had a clear plan to reignite the economy and halt the jobs bloodbath.

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Ramaphosa said SOEs had a critical role to play and won’t be privatised.

“The successful takeover of the distribution of Sassa grants by the Post Office is a clear demonstration that government institutions do have the capacity and the capability to implement projects of great magnitude,” he said.

Before taking over the task last April, only 31,000 beneficiaries were paid through the Post Office. Ramaphosa said last month, that number had reached 7.8 million, which represented just over 70% of beneficiaries.

“Every single day, public entities are providing water, electricity, waste removal services. They are maintaining our roads and a myriad of other essential services to South Africans,” Ramaphosa said.

He said work continued on turning around Eskom, while entities such as South African Airways and Denel would continue to be supported by the government.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)