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Mboweni: I promise you Mabuza does take me seriously

Mar 13 2019 17:58
Lameez Omarjee

"Dogma, backwardness and over-enthusiasm" are not helpful when it comes to dealing with struggling state-owned enterprises, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has said.

Mboweni was responding to a question from DA MP Alf Lees regarding non-core state assets being considered for disposal, a day after Deputy President David Mabuza said he did not take Mboweni's comments seriously on the need to sell off SOEs.  

Mabuza had been referring to Mboweni's social media comments on privatisation, which Mabuza said did not necessarily correspond with the views of government.

Lees quipped that he took the finance minister seriously, to which Mboweni responded: "I can promise you the deputy president takes the minister of finance seriously.

"Don’t pick and choose what the deputy president said and use it wrongly."

In Gordhan's corner

Mboweni said that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has taken the correct approach to SOEs.

"We have said that we should identify the group of non-core assets between arsenal of SOEs and on a case-by-case basis seek to deal with issues.

"Not ideologically, but on the basis of scientific information at our disposal to achieve the desired results," he told the National Assembly.

Mboweni added that when he first joined Cabinet in 1994, the evaluation of non-core assets was an issue, which is still being dealt with today.

Want info? Win the election

Lees probed Mboweni further about how SOEs would be funded. Mboweni said that as finance minister, he is privy to information about which assets are performing and which are not.

He told Lees this is information he would only be able to attain if the DA won elections.

"Once you win elections, you will be finance minister and you will have all the information at your disposal and you can do what you please."



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