Restructuring SA’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is one of the cornerstones of the state’s long-overdue commitment to structural reforms that would help alleviate pressure on a desperate fiscus and breathe some confidence into the economy. The cabinet’s approval for the rationalisation of three of the country’s oil and gas firms into one company, the National Petroleum Company, is a step in the right direction. We need more steps.

Last week’s move follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement in February’s state of the nation address — an event that seems so long ago now given how the Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down — when he called for “greater and more effective attention of operational efficiency, integrity and functionality of our SOEs, and ensuring that people who are fit for purpose are appointed to various positions”...

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