Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The government has approved a national guide for the appointment of board members and CEOs of state-owned and state-controlled institutions.

The move follows years of controversy over the appointment of inappropriate individuals as CEOs and  board members of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and other organs of state, often leading to state capture.

These appointments were pivotal in facilitating the looting of SOEs such as Transnet and Eskom, which is now being probed by the commission of inquiry into state capture, headed by deputy judge president Raymond Zondo.

The cabinet said in a media statement on Thursday after its meeting on Wednesday that the guide would provide “national principles and good-practice guidelines to promote uniformity in the appointment of persons”.

“It responds to the presidential review committee on SOEs to promote transparency, accountability and good governance practices in all organs of state.”

The government also ratified a decision by trade and industry minister Rob Davies to designate the Nkomazi special economic zone in Mpumalanga.

The special economic zone will be positioned as an agro-processing hub using green energy and will be supported by mixed services such as warehousing and logistics.

A number of international treaties were approved for submission to parliament for accession.

These included the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) Copyright Treaty of 1996, which deals with the protection of the work and rights of their authors in the digital environment; the Wipo Performances and Phonograms Treaty of 1996, which deals with the rights of performers and producers of phonograms; and the Beijing Treaty, which regulates copyright for audiovisual performances and expands the audiovisual performers' rights.

The cabinet also gave the go ahead for the Treasury and the Financial Intelligence Centre to co-ordinate SA's preparation for the assessment by the international financial action task force of the effectiveness of its anti-money-laundering and combating of terrorist financing system. The assessment will begin in mid-April.

The publication of the Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill was approved for public comment. The bill will strengthen customer protection by putting in place a single, comprehensive market-conduct law to ensure the consistent application of customer-protection principles across the financial sector. 

It provides for a single, activity-based approach to licensing all financial institutions. The bill, which will apply to all financial institutions, also supports transformation of the financial sector through implementation of the financial sector code issued under the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act. It will require that financial institutions introduce policies to comply with the code.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za