Metrorail trains. Picture: ANA
President Cyril Ramaphosa raised many an eyebrow when he started the day insisting government won’t give up on our struggling state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
Hours later, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula dissolved the interim board of Prasa and placed the cash-strapped SOE under administration with immediate effect – days after SAA, another SOE in serious financial trouble, was placed in business rescue.
“The resolve we have shown in putting SAA into business rescue cuts across all key SOEs. Whether it is Transnet or Eskom, Denel or Prasa, we are taking all necessary measures to turn them around,” Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter to the country.
“Although many of these companies are deeply in debt, they remain valuable state assets with immense capacity. We will not allow any of these strategic entities to fail. Rather, we need to take all necessary steps – even drastic ones – to restore them to health.
“Despite the depth of current challenges, none of our SOEs is lost. They can all be saved. But it will take extraordinary effort and, in some cases, tough decisions.”
Taxpayers are sick and tired of being the suckers to bail out our ailing SOEs. There’s no doubt swift action needs to be taken to put a stop to this mess.
Only time will tell if these actions are enough to “save our SOEs”. Time we probably don’t have.
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