SA's public entities on the road to profitability, says Gordhan

Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan highlighted the importance of restoring state-owned entities to a state of profitability ahead of his budget vote address on Thursday.

As part of his briefing, he highlighted the present state of some of SA's key entities.

Eskom, Eskom, Eskom

Gordhan said key appointments at the power utility and the process by which a chief reorganisation officer will be appointed will all be determined soon.

"We have started work on the paper for Eskom and a draft should be ready for government to study soon," said Gordhan.

Transnet board is getting to work

Gordhan said the current board of Transnet was addressing challenges which prompted staff at the entity to embark on a go-slow this week.

"Transnet has started the process of hiring a CEO, a COO and CIO. The go slow is a regrettable development because it affects production and jobs. We expect the board to apply their minds," said Gordhan.

"Governance and accountability will see some changes in how interactions take place between entities and the department. You will see that in the coming weeks.

"This department was central to the state capture project," he said.

We must move from crisis management to profit making

Gordhan said over the coming years, each entity will have to explain to the department how it plans to become financially self-sustaining in the coming years.

"We should be on a good path in the next 18 months," Gordhan said.

Brave captains

Gordhan took a moment to applaud executives that led state-owned entities when he took up the helm at the Department of Public Enterprises. He mentioned former Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe who recently resigned.

"The president set SOEs on an agenda for recovery and financial independence and sustainability. In 18 months, boards have changed and managers have been appointed. Many of them are brave people. Hadebe was one of them and I would like to thank him for his help and contribution," said Gordhan.

Later, during Gordhan's budget vote address, the chamber descended into chaos as EFF members confronted him. The EFF was thrown out as a result.

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