President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is hopeful about the future of struggling state-owned enterprises such as South African Airways (SAA) and Eskom.
In his discussion with the South African National Editors forum on Sunday, the president was asked about the future of SOE’s given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on government’s Finances.
Companies such as SAA and Eskom have depended heavily on state bail outs to stay afloat. The state-owned airline is currently undergoing business rescue, with the public enterprises department saying we should expect a new state airline.
At last year’s State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa announced a presidential council to help ailing SOEs. He told journalists on Sunday that those names are soon to be revealed, giving a bit of hope for the struggling organisations.
Ramaphosa says he is happy with the interventions at various SOEs.
“So, I see a good future for SAA, and similarly, I see even a better one for Eskom. There are quite a number of other interventions we are making around Eskom, and all these are being done in the proper way with proper consultation. We’ll soon be announcing the names of the state-owned enterprises council, that is our SOE Council, which is meant to help in advising us in government.”
Ramaphosa also said that he inherited a weakened state when he became president.
The president was asked during the sit-down interview about government departments’ capacities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether they could implement measures the president announced to cushion the blow on livelihoods.
He said his goal was to enhance the capacity of the state to responding to the pandemic.
“The state that I have inherited has been a weakened state in a number of ways. And much of what we’ve been trying to do is show up the strength of this state. The District Development Model is one pillar around which we want to strengthen in the state and destroy the silo mentality of doing things in government – where one department does not what the other department is doing.”