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Govt may consider listing SOEs on stock exchange - Ramaphosa

Nov 16 2017 16:46
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says government may consider proposals to list South Africa’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on the stock exchange similar to what countries such as China, Malaysia and Singapore have done.

Ramaphosa was responding to a question from EFF member of Parliament Nazier Paulsen in the National Assembly on Thursday who asked him if it would not be prudent to list SOEs to improve their balance sheets.

Paulsen pointed out though that a “listing” should not be confused with privatisation.

“Yes, it [listing on stock exchanges] happens in China, Singapore, Malaysia and certain European countries, such as Nordic ones. This has resulted in the realignment of their ownership models to a point of where the private sector invest in these SOEs through listings.”

Ramaphosa said such moves have helped to boost the balance sheets of SOEs in these countries and helped to introduce good governance.

“In South Africa, Telkom is a case in point – it is well run,” he said.

He thanked Paulsen for the proposal and said the inter-ministerial committee on SOEs, headed by himself, will take it into consideration.

READ: Partial privatisation of SOEs on the cards 

Responding to an earlier question posed by Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimaine about the steps taken to hold those guilty of corruption at SOEs to account, Ramaphosa said it is not the task or the mandate of the inter-ministerial committee to consider allegations of corruption.

“That rests with the relevant ministries as shareholders of these SOEs.”

He acceded though that corruption at SOEs are “one of the greatest threats to effective governance” in the country.

“The National Assembly must therefore be commended for the work it is doing through its inquiry into Eskom to uncover the abuse of power and theft of public resources by well-connected individuals,” Ramaphosa said.

READ: Parliament rallies around Eskom inquiry evidence leader Vanara 

He added that South Africa’s law enforcement agencies, such as the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) and the Hawks should “immediately” start investigating those implicated in wrongdoing and ensure the guilty are brought to book.

“This is something not only members of Parliament, but the public as a whole is waiting for.” 

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