Looted SOE money will be found and used to benefit South Africans - Gordhan

The minister said that well-operated and financially sound state-owned entities (SOEs) were crucial for infrastructure services like energy, transport and water – all necessary to grow the economy to serve all the country’s people.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said that the money looted from state-owned enterprises during state capture would be found and used to the benefit of all South Africans.

He’s described SOEs as the “honey pots” of state capture, but said that there were plans to repurpose them.

Gordhan was speaking during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address delivered last Thursday.

The minister said that well-operated and financially sound state-owned entities (SOEs) were crucial for infrastructure services like energy, transport and water – all necessary to grow the economy to serve all the country’s people.

But he said that to do this, it was essential to reform and restructure the SOE sector which was badly hit by state capture.

“The SOEs became the honey pots of state capture, largely because of their large procurement spend… we are still recovering from the terrible effects of state capture.”

Gordhan said this year would see changes to the architecture of SOEs in line with the economic reconstruction and recovery plan, including weaning them off bailouts.

He said the money stolen during state capture would be chased down: “We will also make endeavours, chairman as I conclude, to recover funds that have been taken from SOEs. In this regard, if need be, criminal charges will be put in place and secondly, we will chase these funds wherever they might be in the world to ensure that the money that has been stolen by all sorts of role players is returned to South Africa and used for the benefit of South Africans in a more general sense.”

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.