Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SUPPLIED
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SUPPLIED

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed the long-awaited presidential state-owned enterprise council that will support the government's repositioning of SOEs as effective instruments for economic development.

A number of the country’s SOEs, such as power utility Eskom and ailing airline SAA, which is now in business rescue, are in a dire financial state, and were decimated during years of state capture.

SA has more than 740 SOEs, which the government has been looking at either consolidate or rationalise.

The council will be chaired by the president and comprises ministers responsible for SOEs as well as a number of business heavyweights, economists and academics with proven leadership and strategic capabilities.

The department of public enterprises will serve as secretariat for the council as it is the shareholder representative for the government, with oversight responsibility for SOEs, the presidency said.

The presidency said the council's mandate involves strengthening the framework governing SOEs including  the introduction of an overarching act governing them and the determination of an appropriate shareholder ownership model.

“The council will also ensure that SOE-specific interventions are implemented to stabilise companies through the strengthening of their governance, addressing their immediate liquidity challenges and implementing agreed turnaround strategies,” it said.

The council's mandate will extend to a review of the role and mandate of SOEs to ensure a positive socioeconomic contribution and alignment to the national development agenda.

It will also review SOE corporate plans to ensure alignment to government priorities and to ensure appropriate systems are in place to monitor implementation of such plans, as well as the operational and financial performance of the companies, the presidency said.

The council will review business models, capital structures and sources of financing for SOEs and will monitor and mitigate risks.

Members of the council are: Denel chair Monhla Hlahla; executive director and board vice-chair of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection Joel Netshitenzhe; Thebe Investments chair Vusi Khanyile; adjunct professor at Wits University and former Treasury official Michael Sachs; non-executive director of MTN Group and Development Bank of SA Marion Lesego Dawn Marole; vice-president for finance and CFO at the African Development Bank, Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala; Sanlam board director Sipho Nkosi; AngloGold Ashanti  CFO Kandimathie Christine Ramon; Sanlam group CEO and executive director Ian Kirk; and economist and head of investments at Ninety One Nazmeera Moola.

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