In one of the strongest signs yet that South Africa’s turn-around course following years of Zupta-engineered state capture is irreversible, President Cyril Ramaphosa told senior party leaders to back off from State-owned Enterprises (SOEs).
Delivering the closing address at the ANC’s lekgotla, Ramaphosa said politicians should not interfere in the running of SOEs.
In what could easily be interpreted as Ramaphosa breaking ranks with fundamental party ideology, the belief that redress is possible through affirmative action, the president clamoured for an end to hiring unqualified people to run parastatals.
Speaking to delegates, who apart from senior ANC members included SACP and Cosatu higher-ups, Ramaphosa said: ‘There must be greater and more effective attention to the operational efficiency, integrity and functionality of our SOEs, as well as ensuring that the people who are fit for purpose are appointed to the various positions”.
And as speculation is rife that the government is on the verge of pulling the plug on SAA, with Mango apparently standing by with an announcement that it won’t affect its operations as it is independently run, Ramaphosa said a decision on struggling SOEs would be taken soon.
Strategy, mismanagement and company failure should be the only incidents warranting government interference, Ramaphosa said. – Eugene Goddard