South African Airways (SAA) will get R5bn, SA Express R1.2bn and the South African Post Office R2.9bn in new funding from the government, according to the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), tabled in parliament on Wednesday. But while the Treasury made new allocations to state-owned enterprises (SOEs), finance minister Tito Mboweni had firm words for their dependence on government hand-outs, saying that there needs to be “a reconfiguration” of SOEs. “This means we should be open-minded about the involvement of equity partners and open to the idea of closing some business activities,” Mboweni said in a briefing to journalists before delivering the statement. He spoke of the need for private-sector partnerships that could help the public-sector provide services more efficiently. State-owned companies, many of which have been poorly run and looted by corrupt managers, have been a large drain on public finances with much of their debt — R670bn in total — guaranteed by governme...

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