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Outa: Endless govt bailouts to struggling SOEs now exceeds dept budgets

Outa on Friday made its submission during the public hearings on the 2019 Adjustments Appropriation Bill and the 2019 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

FILE: Eskom's Megawatt Park offices in Sunninghill. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Friday told Parliament that current interventions at state-owned entities (SOEs), like Eskom and South African Airways (SAA), were not working.

Outa was making its submission during the public hearings on the 2019 Adjustments Appropriation Bill and the 2019 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement.

The objective of the Bill was to effect adjustments to the appropriation of money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the state in the current financial year.

Outa said unprofitable SOEs, like SAA, needed to be overhauled and the government should wind down those that were beyond repair. The organisation’s Godfrey Gulston said endless bailouts had reached a point where they even exceed the budgets of entire departments.

“In 2019/2022 Eskom alone far exceeded the entire budget of the Department of Defence. It is higher than the Department of Health's budget for 2019/2020 and it’s more than double the Department of Basic Education's budget.”

Gulston added that the government also needed to have a serious discussion about the sale of non-core assets to plug the cash leaks, as well as “partial privatisation” of strategic SOEs.

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