- Pravin Gordhan has been appointed as the new Minister of Public Enterprises
- Gordhan has built a reputation as the Mr Fix-It of South African politics
- Experts believe Gordhan will bring some much-needed stability to SEO’s and in particular Eskom
State-owned enterprises (SOE’s) are set to benefit from the steady hand of Pravin Gordhan, who makes a welcome return to cabinet.
Gordhan has been appointed by President Ramaphosa to head the critical department of public enterprises. He replaces Lynne Brown, who leaves under a dark cloud due to her alleged links to the Gupta family and having led Eskom to the brink of bankruptcy.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was critical about the Ramaphosa’s refreshed cabinet but welcomed the appointment of Gordhan. ‘’Gordhan is seen as Mr Fix-It and our state-owned enterprises have some of the biggest problems,” he said.
Briefly.co.za gathered that experts also expect that Gordhan working in tandem with Jeff Radebe at the department of energy will bring a welcome breath of fresh air to Eskom.
Chief among Gordhan’s challenges will be rooting out corruption and rot within SOE’s and to return these entities to profitability or at least to a point where they are no longer a burden on the South African taxpayer.
CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) Bonang Mohale believes Gordhan would “strengthen government’s hand” in dealing with state capture and corruption, and facilitate the efforts to address the governance and leadership at state-owned companies.
Experts also hope Gordhan will lead the charge to adopt various renewable energy sources.
Gordhan has taken a pragmatic approach to his new role and warned that he would need time to study all the problem areas at SOE’s. “We have seen what all the fault lines are in the public domain already, including rampant corruption,” he said, adding that he would first get a better grip on some of the issues that he will have to deal with.
He added that SOE’s play a critical role in South Africa and the country needed these companies to perform well in order to boost the economy and help contribute to the development of the country.
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