In a sign that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are still in dire straits after a decade of mismanagement and corruption during the Jacob Zuma era, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Treasury have appealed for heads of major banks and asset managers to help bring them back to health. A delegation including Gordhan and Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele met with financial sector CEOs last week to appeal both for funding and solutions on restructuring state-owned companies. The meeting is an indication that banks have not yet restored lending, as concerns remain over their exposure to the sector and to Eskom in particular. All the SOEs are in severe financial difficulties and government guarantees are no longer considered adequate insurance against the risk of default. The Banking Association SA, the Association for Savings and Investment SA, the Treasury and the Department of Public Enterprises are due to issue a joint statement on the initiative on Monday. None w...

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