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