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Lynne Brown: Eskom, Transnet not for sale

Dec 23 2016 20:13
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Eskom is not for sale and neither are Koeberg, Transnet, Denel or the other companies in the Public Enterprises portfolio, Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown said in a statement issued on Friday evening.
 
In her view these state-owned enterprises (SOEs) must be transformed. Proposals for new board appointments, private sector participation, standards of remuneration for executives of boards and SOE executives must be completed and signed off by Cabinet.
 
"My executive mandate given by the president is to oversee the development of stronger SOEs that serve the interests of all South Africans," said Brown.

She added that over the past few years, "toxic allegations" of impropriety at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have had a profoundly negative effect on the mood in South Africa and perceptions of its democratically elected government.

She emphasised that SA’s state owned enterprises fulfil a critical role in the commercial and development agendas of the country and congratulated Eskom on the Constitutional Court judgment in its favour regarding the procurement of new steam generators by Eskom for the Koeberg Power Station.

READ: Eskom wins ConCourt nuclear battle

"Although the court did not deal with the merits of the case, finding that Westinghouse did not have legal standing in the matter, the minority judgment by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke was instructive. Judge Moseneke found that Eskom was 'truly meticulous and proper in its assessment of the bids'. There should be no doubt about this," said Brown.
 
She emphasised that credible allegations of irregular, fraudulent or corrupt activities must be reported to the appropriate state agencies. Such allegations must be thoroughly investigated and where there is evidence of any entities or individuals - regardless of their position - breaking the law, they must be prosecuted.
 
"We cannot allow political and business competition afflicting the boards - the accounting authorities of state-owned enterprises - and the executive management of our state-owned enterprises to negate the good work that these companies do. Or, to erode the transformation path that SA is on," said Brown.
 
"Nor should we allow negative narratives to negate the fact that Eskom's turnaround is under way, that it reported a decent profit this year and that load shedding is slipping into memory even as more people and businesses are connected to the electricity grid."

Brown made it clear that neither she - as Government's Sole Shareholder Representative - nor Government will bow to pressure or external lobbying outside of Government to privatise any SOEs responsible for delivering basic services to the poor. This is especially the case, in her view, when it is not Government policy.

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transnet  |  eskom  |  lynne brown  |  sa economy

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