The year 2020 is a big one for SA and President Cyril Ramaphosa, from both a foreign and domestic policy point of view. At home, the challenge is to revive a faltering, job-shedding economy that is weighed down, mainly, by failing state-owned enterprises (SOEs). This week South Africans woke up to news that workers at Autopax, the state-owned bus service, will only receive half of their salaries; and that regional feeder airline SA Express was embroiled in a legal wrangle over an application to place it under business rescue, like SAA.

Most of the critical SOEs, such as Eskom, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), SA Post Office, Transnet, SAA and the Public Investment Corporation, are run by interim leadership teams — interim boards, CEOs and/or administrators, or business rescue practitioners in the case of Prasa and SAA. Complicating matters are the factions of the ANC using these public policy bodies to wage their internal battles.

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