Closer scrutiny of SOE boards
● The government has tightened procedures for the appointment of boards of stateowned enterprises (SOEs), to avoid a repeat of state capture.
This week the cabinet approved new guidelines aimed at preventing further cases like those in which board appointments were made at the behest of the Gupta family.
According to the new rules, ministers in charge of SOEs such as Eskom and Transnet will no longer have the power to decide by themselves on appointments to boards or the hiring of CEOs.
Ayanda Dlodlo, the minister of public service and administration, said the new rules were an effort “to not make the state look bad”.
She told the Sunday Times: “We want to avoid bad appointments. So we have to set a standard and monitor deviations in appointments.”
Leaked Gupta e-mails showed the family hand-picked people for boards of SOEs to direct business to their companies. In the case of Eskom, hundreds of millions of rands flowed to the brothers and their business associates as a result.
Dlodlo said that in the past there had not been adequate checks on the people appointed to boards, “if they were appointed elsewhere and whether there were transgressions”.
She added: “We tend to recycle people on boards. So we are coming up with a database that will blacklist people.”
She said the questionable SOE board appointments under the administration of former president Jacob Zuma were the result of