Tag: state owned enterprises

Cabinet Lekgotla to measure progress

Pretoria – The review of state-owned entities, progress made on infrastructure and top government priorities will feature prominently at the Cabinet Lekgotla which began in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, told reporters at the start of the meeting that several reports indicating government’s progress on several issues will be discussed in the next two days.

“The Lekgotla will receive a report from the presidential review commission on parastatals as well as the report on the progress made by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC),” Chabane said.

There will also be deliberations on the administration’s progress in education, health, safety and security, fighting crime and corruption as well as job creation.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the Presidential State Owned Enterprises Review Committee in May 2010, to review the role of SOEs in the country.

The appointment of the committee was a response to the acknowledgement that there was a need to strengthen the role of SOEs to ensure that they respond to a clearly defined public mandate and support the developmental aspirations of government.

It was further guided by the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2009 to 2014.

The MTSF states the need for the review of state owned enterprises as part of the economic transformation agenda of government.

Government had found that while these entities remain financially viable, SOEs, development finance institutions as well as companies in which the state has a significant shareholding must respond to a clearly defined public mandate, and help government to build a developmental state.

The PICC, which is chaired by the President, was tasked to oversee the country’s infrastructure plan as part of speeding up progress on major infrastructure projects.

The plan, first announced by Zuma in his State of the Nation address in February, lists 17 strategic integrated projects that cut across energy, transport and logistics infrastructure to schools, hospitals and nursing colleges. The projects cover economic and social infrastructure across all nine provinces, with an emphasis on undeveloped areas and opportunities. Energy projects will focus on supporting sustainable “green” energy initiatives through a diverse range of clean energy options.

The Lekgotla also takes place at time the country is still reeling in shock following the tragic killing last month of striking mine workers in Marikana, North West.

Asked if the meeting would discuss the Marikana tragedy, Chabane said: “While the issue is not part of the Lekgotla, Cabinet may request a report of the IMC (Inter-ministerial Committee) which deals with this matter so it may arise”. – SAnews.gov.za

State has the money to fund infrastructure – Gordhan

Cape Town – South Africa has the money to spend on the infrastructure projects in the five regions outlined by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address tonight, the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said.

“We already know that for the past five or six years that for every three-year period we have had something around R800 billion to R900 billion being spent, largely by our state-owned enterprises (on infrastructure).

“So we’ve demonstrated the ability to bring resources in which is what will be required to get these projects going,” Gordhan told BuaNews, stressing that these key infrastructure projects would be developed over a number of years.

Among other things, the projects would help develop better economic links between outlying areas and the main urban centre and to make it easier for companies to export and do business locally, he said.

“If we get this right it means that many areas of the country will have a heightened level of economic opportunity and there will be all sorts of job opportunities and there will be opportunities for people to manufacture the things that go into the investment in the infrastructure development that has been outlined,” he said.

Gordhan also defended the state getting more involved in the economy.

“You know if the state didn’t get involved in all the economies of the world, particularly the major ones, since in 2008 you would have had no economy or country left,” he said, pointing out that it was the state backed by tax-payers’ money that helped save banks in the 2008 financial crisis.

“So the story about the state getting too involved is an old story, what we need is the right balance,” he pointed out.

Speaking on the night, the leader of the opposition Lindiwe Mazibuko, although welcoming the announcement by Zuma of the infrastructure projects, said it was not clear from where the funding for the infrastructure projects outlined by Zuma would be sourced.

“In fact a quick look actually shows that we are about R300 billion short, so I’m curious to see how that will be dealt with in the budget,” said Mazibuko.

Her concern on where the funding would come from for the infrastructure projects was echoed by Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota, who added that corruption in the procurement system also risked raising the cost of these projects. – BuaNews