The installation of a new Eskom board and highly capable CEO is a watershed for the power utility and for general confidence. The state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are top instruments for service delivery, and because they are within the control of the state and not subject to global market uncertainties, there can be no excuse for poor performance. Faith needs to be restored in the SOEs, especially those with significant service delivery roles and/or the largest component of government guarantees. This refers to Eskom, the South African National Roads Agency, South African Airways, the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority, the Road Accident Fund, Transnet, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA and PetroSA. Effective governance is the most important starting point. It is simply impossible to maintain, turn around or sustainably drive growth without it. Leadership instability is the top challenge faced by many SOEs, and this was certainly the case at Telkom. After Sizwe Nxasana’s departure from Tel...

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