Not all SOEs performing badly - Ramaphosa

Johannesburg – Not all of South Africa’s more than 700 state-owned enterprises are performing badly, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.

“Some of them are even able to pay a dividend to the fiscus. A few are operating in difficult markets: airlines, post office, energy. These are very difficult markets,” he said.

He was replying to a question from DA MP Natasha Mazzone about what the government was doing to hold the executives of state-owned entities to account, most of which, she said, were performing badly.

“We are going to straighten them out and they are going to start performing well,” he said.

Ramaphosa said South Africa was studying the Chinese model of running state-owned entities. Executives were made to perform to plan and held to account and there were shareholder agreements.

China had achieved phenomenal success and its state-owned entities had played a critical role in developing its economy.

He said their success was due to reforms put in place at shareholder level, which included the introduction of strategic investors and listing the entities on capital markets.  

“China is bound to be the biggest economy in the world. We want to learn from the best. Don’t scoff at the lessons that we can learn from China,” he said, addressing the opposition benches.

“We have strategic relations with China. They have offered to assist us, they have not offered to dominate us.”

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