Closer scru­tiny of SOE boards

Sunday Times - - Week in Review - By QAANITAH HUNTER

● 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

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