While we are consumed by the goings-on at the Zondo inquiry into state capture and the rising electioneering temperature, SAA gets another guarantee and Eskom’s debt challenge mounts even as it struggles to keep the lights on. Rationalisation (not privatisation) of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has become inevitable. As the downside risks mount, South Africans should be demanding more than the usual rhetoric and promises from their leaders. One area of leadership that is required is the boldness to implement urgent SOE reforms. The executive is being forced to deal with the three monsters that are burning the fiscus and plunging our economy into a cul-de-sac: SAA, Eskom and Transnet. It is not only corruption that put these SOEs into their current state; in fact the real problem is the shareholder and governance models that enabled that corruption. They are no longer relevant to SA’s development trajectory, since market conditions have changed from the original “apartheid reasons” ...

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