Cape Times



PUBLIC Enterprise­s Minister Pravin Gordhan will bow out of public service with little to nothing to cheer about at the end of the current administra­tion’s term.

That is true of most of his Cabinet colleagues who have decided not to avail themselves after the May 29 election.

However, the unique thing about Gordhan is that his last stint as minister has been one to forget.

He leaves behind a trail of destructio­n of the country’s state-owned companies that will take years to fix.

Sure, he will blame the years of state capture for the mess that Eskom, Transnet and Denel have become. His critics have pointed out that this was part of a strategy to shield himself from being held accountabl­e. There may be merit to that argument.

After all, he was part of those so-called nine wasted years and basically did nothing, just like many of the people who today claim to have fought state capture.

Our SOEs are in a worse position than they were before Gordhan took over, although he would want South Africans to believe otherwise.

His term with the department has been marred by arrogance, secrecy and lack of accountabi­lity. Forget the claims that often he would meddle with the affairs of these SOEs and take the privatisat­ion of SAA for example.

He has tried everything in the book to frustrate almost all the efforts to shine the light on the finer details of this deal. Why, why? we ask.

His latest attempt was to force the public enterprise­s committee to accede to his request to have a meeting heard in camera.

It has now emerged that the Takatso Consortium majority stake acquisitio­n of SAA has been dead in the water since the strategic partner could not secure funding from the Public Investment Corporatio­n or guarantees from the government to keep the airline afloat. If that is the case, it would explain why this deal has been shrouded in secrecy.

Gordhan’s 50 years of activism, as he put it, have surely been overshadow­ed by the fact that he will be remembered as the minister that presided over the collapse of and attempted to sell the country’s public assets.

How tragic!

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