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Mboweni: Further bailouts for struggling SOEs can't continue

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his budget vote noted that various companies in the aviation and broadcasting sectors were making profits and providing good quality services.

FILE: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Pictures: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that further bailouts to struggling state-owned companies like Eskom and SAA could not continue and should not be treated like a blank cheque.

Presenting his budget at Parliament on Thursday night, Mboweni said he would table the Special Appropriations Bill for Eskom support next Wednesday.

It would allow for Eskom to get a significant portion of the R230 billion support government has pledged over the next decade sooner.

On the same day, Parliament is set to approve the Appropriations Bill.

Mboweni said it would provide for cash injections for other ailing SOEs – SAA, Denel and the SABC – to be paid from the contingency reserve.

Tito Mboweni laid down the line: "This additional government support cannot be a blank cheque to these state-owned enterprises. we really and truly cannot go on like this."

Mboweni noted that various companies in the aviation and broadcasting sectors were making profits and providing good quality services.

"yet some of our state-owned enterprises in the same sectors, operating under the same economic conditions, are relying on government bailouts. we cannot allow this to continue."

Mboweni said a policy paper would be published mapping the way forward for SOEs.

He did not say how much of the R230 billion Eskom was likely to receive.

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