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Pravin Gordhan’s recent presentation to the parliamentary portfolio committee on public enterprises does indeed portend a "new dawn" for state-owned enterprises (SOEs). These massive corporations, many of which are producing critical basic goods for the country’s public and industry, have been front and centre of the plunder of the Zuma years. "Just words", the cynics will say. But words in the form of clearly stated plans have to precede action. Besides which, we can all take great comfort from the fact that some of these words have already been translated into action, as graphically demonstrated by the Transnet board’s decision, announced on the day, of its intention to suspend CEO Siyabonga Gama and two senior executives responsible for procurement and supply chain management.

Anyone who questions the necessity of their suspension should read the recently published draft forensic report commissioned by the Treasury, which clearly establishes that the executives concerned we...

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