Gordhan corrects ‘false’ assertions about Public Enterprises work

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has slammed the DA’s unfounded assertions that seek to mislead the South African public, score cheap political points and undermine the work of stabilising state-owned enterprises.

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Ghaleb Cachalia, said the department, under Gordhan, was exposed as a “crisis-ridden entity that was operating on auto pilot” and called for his resignation for failing to meet some of the targets in the department.

“Minister Gordhan said Ghaleb Cachalia is bereft of any semblance of reality, judging by the extent to which he has desperately tried to mischaracterise this week’s presentation of the Auditor General (AG) before the Portfolio Committee of Public Enterprises,” the statement read.

The Minister said that neither he nor the department will be side tracked from the work to stabilise state-owned enterprises (SOEs), improve their governance, equip them with qualified and capable leadership, and make them fit to lead the government’s developmental and transformation agenda, improve service delivery and boost the economy.

Moreover, Gordhan also vowed to continue rooting out corruption that has left the SOEs haemorrhaging money, and not in a position to advance the economic imperatives of the country after being hollowed-out up by State Capture.

“The AG’s presentation to the portfolio committee was a culmination of extensive and ongoing engagements that are aimed at aligning the work of the department with the stated objectives of government, and that work is informed by be the strategic framework that is beginning to yield significant improvements in the oversight of the SOEs.

“Granted, the department has never taken the view that its work would find support from its detractors and opportunists like Cachalia and others of his ilk, as they have decided to not recognise the extent of the damage that was wrought on Eskom, Transnet, SAA and Denel in particular,” the Minister added.

He said the DPE, along with the AG, National Treasury, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), and other key role players, was determined to ensure that there was alignment in the performance, set targets and departmental outcomes for the new financial year and beyond.

Gordhan said the DPE’s Annual Performance Plan (APP) for 2023/24, to which the AG spoke, already entailed key strategic and administrative inputs which the DPE has committed to implement as underscored by some of the ongoing critical interventions.

These include the conclusion of the Strategic Equity Partnership (SEP) transaction for SAA; resolution of Transnet’s sourcing of outstanding locomotives and spare parts from China’s CRRC e-Loco Supply to revitalise the country’s logistics and freight rail network.

The plan also involves improving Eskom’s power generation capacity to end load shedding and capacitating the Boards of the SOEs to deliver on their goals as agreed with the shareholder.

“The department has been transparent throughout the process of drafting and finalising the 2023/24 APP, including making the AG know of the commitment to remedy the deficiencies that have already been publicly acknowledged,” the Minister said.

He also noted that the 2023/24 marked the end of the current administration, and thus the current medium-term strategic framework (MTSF) will be revised to align with the mandate of the next administration.

As a consequence, Gordhan said government departments will revise their mandates and strategic focus to align to the new MTSF.

The strategic plan of 2020-2025, as approved, will also be revised to include evaluating achievements of the set measurable outcomes.

Gordhan commended the department for not shirking its responsibility to provide custodial oversight and improve accountability as highlighted by the DPE achieving five straight years of unqualified audits.

With the country heading into an election next year, Gordhan said it was unsurprising that there would be those hell bent on undermining the work of the department for political leverage. – SAnews.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency