State-owned entity policy drag may end

CAPE TOWN — Two long outstanding policy proposals relating to state-owned enterprises are likely to finally see the light of day this year.

The presidential review of state-owned entities and the review on pay for executive and nonexecutive directors in the sector have been in the making for more than a year.

The presidential review panel headed by national police commissioner Riah Phiyega was appointed early in 2010 and its report has apparently been with the president and the Cabinet since the middle of last year.

The recommendations of the review will be especially relevant in light of the policy decisions taken at last month’s African National Congress conference in Mangaung. Among the many issues the conference dealt with was government involvement in key economic sectors.

The congress further endorsed the concept of increased state ownership in strategic sectors.

Another critical area dealt with was the recruitment, selection and appointment of boards and executive management of state-owned enterprises. The National Planning Commission’s National Development Plan proposed that this be taken out of the hands of Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba and be vested in the boards of these companies, a suggestion the minister strongly opposes.

Spokesman for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane, Harold Maloka, said the review of stateowned enterprises was discussed at the Cabinet lekgotla last year and would be presented to it again once Cabinet processes had been completed.

Cabinet spokeswoman Phumla Williams could not say when the review and its recommendations would be presented to the lekgotla as she had not yet seen its agenda. “It is still pending,” she said.

A Cabinet lekgotla will take place at the end of the month and these issues could be discussed during the meeting.

Democratic Alliance spokesman on public enterprises Natasha Michael said yesterday it was more important for Mr Gigaba to lay down the structural and policy framework under which state-owned enterprises operate, rather than dabbling in their daily operations.

Mr Gigaba has so far exercised a strong hand over the enterprises under his portfolio.

Business Day
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