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State capture? In simple English it’s ‘fraud and corruption’ says finance minister

Aug 22 2018 11:46
Jan Cronje

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has told Parliament that, as the government works to rebuild state-owned companies (SOCs), there is a chance that too much focus will be placed on individuals and not enough on strengthening institutional capabilities. 

The minister said in recent years the capabilities of SOCs to function correctly had been hampered by state capture.

In his view, there was another way to refer to this term: "... in simple English [state capture] would be referred to as fraud and corruption".

Nene was addressing the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday on the status of governance challenges at state entities.  

“Given the dire situation in which some of these state-owned companies are, we do need capable and morally upright women and men that we can parachute into state-owned companies to stabilise them,” he said. 

“But we should not search for heroes we can drop behind enemy lines without applying our minds to the institutional frameworks that will help secure the long-term future of state-owned companies.”

Nene said there is a “great risk” that too much focus would be placed on “heroes and their heroic deeds”. 

Quoting French diplomat Jean Monet, considered one of the driving forces behind the creation of the European Union, Nene said “nothing is possible without men, but nothing lasts without institutions".

The minister said his department would be closely following the Zondo Inquiry into State Capture.

"[...] any recommendations aimed at addressing governance-related challenges, strengthening the financial position of SOCs and improving service delivery to the public through optimal procurement practices, will be considered favourably by government," he said.

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nhlanhla nene  |  state capture  |  sa economy  |  corruption
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