Pres­i­dent has con­fi­dence in Ho­gan and lead­er­ship of state-owned en­ter­prises

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - POLITICS -

THE GOV­ERN­MENT has “full­con­fi­dence” in Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Bar­bara Ho­gan and the boards ap­pointed to steer state-owned en­ter­prises (SOEs), ANC pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma said yes­ter­day.

“We will not delve into what hap­pens in the board­rooms of the SOEs, as that is a mat­ter of the boards that run those in­sti­tu­tions.

“As share­holder, the gov­ern- ment ap­points a board which works with the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble, who pro­vides po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship to the en­ti­ties,” Zuma said, adding that the gov­ern­ment had “full con­fi­dence” in the boards and the min­is­ter.

His com­ments were con­tained in a let­ter is­sued by the rul­ing party as the ANC and its al­liance part­ners – the SA Com­mu­nist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA Na­tional Civics Or­gan­i­sa­tion – gath­ered in Es­se­len Park, Gaut­eng, for a three-day sum­mit.

Eskom and Arm­scor have been be­set by lead­er­ship prob­lems.

Eskom lost both its chief ex­ec­u­tive, Ja­cob Maroga, and its board chair man, Bobby God­sell, in a week. An act­ing board chair man has been ap­pointed, Mpho Mak­wana, who, af­ter days of spec­u­la­tion over Maroga’s res­ig­na­tion, an­nounced the paras­tatal was lead­er­less on Thurs­day.

On Wed­nes­day, Arm­scor’s board an­nounced it had asked CEO Sipho Thomo to re­sign, but he was re­fus­ing to do so.

Zuma said trans­for­ma­tion had come into “sharp fo­cus” due to the chal­lenges which emerged at SOEs re­cently.

“There have been fears that af­fir­ma­tive action gains are be­ing re­versed and that the ANC gov­ern­ment was not act­ing to stop this per­ceived ero­sion.

“It would not be wise to over­sim­plify the chal­lenges fac- ing SOEs and other sec­tions of the state ma­chin­ery. We are at­tend­ing to th­ese mat­ters as gov­ern­ment, as part of the over­all trans­for­ma­tion of our gov­ern­ment ma­chin­ery.”

The pres­i­dent said the ANC had taken a de­ci­sion to work with black pro­fes­sion­als and black busi­ness in re­cent months “to deal with th­ese press­ing trans­for­ma­tion is­sues”.

Zuma said the al­liance, in its week­end talks, would ex­am­ine the gov­ern­ment’s progress made in its key ar­eas, in­clud­ing eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion.

“The mis­sion of the al­liance is clear. It is to im­ple­ment the pro­gramme of lib­er­at­ing Africans in par­tic­u­lar and black peo­ple in gen­eral, from po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic bondage. It is to im­prove the qual­ity of life of all South Africans, es­pe­cially the poor.”

The sum­mit would al­low the gov­ern­ment to re­fine poli­cies adopted at Polok­wane.

“We will dis­cuss fur­ther the five pri­or­i­ties we com­mit­ted our­selves to – ed­u­ca­tion, health, ru­ral de­vel­op­ment, the fight against crime and cre­at­ing de­cent work. We will also look at other press­ing mat­ters such as lo­cal gov­ern­ment, the global eco­nomic cri­sis and en­ergy.” – Sapa

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