The Presidential Review Committee (PRC) on state-owned entities (SOEs) that includes the government arsenal Denel and arms acquisition agency Armscor as well as South African Airways is calling on the public to make submissions which will contribute to the process of reviewing the role of these organisations.
The PRC says it is calling on individual South African citizens, government departments at national, provincial, and local level, SOEs themselves, organised business, labour, political parties, civil society, professional bodies, educational institutions, and industry associations to comment by July 31.
Chairwoman Riah Phiyega noted President Jacob Zuma established the PRC last year May “in response to the acknowledgment that there is a need to strengthen the role of SOEs to ensure that they respond to a clearly defined public mandate and support the developmental state aspirations of government.”
The 12-strong presidential committee was last October given 11 months to conclude a review on the effectiveness and future of the estimated 300 SOEs currently in existence. Minister in the Presidency for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane at the time said the PRC would release an interim report in February and its findings on September 1 this year. As far as can be determined, the February deadline was missed. The September date is also in doubt.
“The PRC has held seminars with domestic and international partners including consultations with SOEs, government departments and other role players and is now in a position to receive public submissions which will contribute to the successful completion of the report to the President,” the commission said in a media statement soliciting the public comment.
“The submissions should address the issues/challenges/distortions that are either broad or specific and relate to the area(s) of the role-players’ or stakeholders’ operations,” the statement asserted. Overall, the input should seek to address the following three key challenges:
1. Are SOEs currently viable, effective, and adding value to development and transformation; and/or are they likely to in future? If not, what could be done, or what should be enhanced?
2. Are the governance, ownership model, policy, and legislation appropriate to enable SOEs to be effective in their delivery? If not, how can it be improved?
3. Is the mandate and agenda for SOEs clearly articulated and is there sufficient alignment with the State’s Development and Transformation Plans? If not, how can it be improved?
The broad objectives of the review are to:
· Review transformation and development aspects encompassing definition of what constitutes state owned entities and revisitation of the current classification. “This shall also include contextualisation of the role of SOEs in a developmental state within a South African context balancing socio-economic, and political imperatives”;
· Review the contribution of SOEs to human capital development with a particular reference to the development of scarce skills;
· Propose viable shareholder and governance models for SOEs taking into account enabling legislative and regulatory framework. Review of reporting and accounting practices and standards accounting is scoped in;
· Proposing sustainable SOE business models that strike a balance between commercial, developmental and shareholder objectives;
· Propose appropriate strategic framework or policies on board recruitment, performance and remuneration;
· Review collaboration between government Ministries and SOEs, as well as consider proposals for strategic management and operational effectiveness of SOEs; and,
· Review of SOEs on matters relating to strategic importance, value creation, viability and funding aspects.
Phiyega last year said the governing African National Congress had taken a conscious decision that there is a need for the government to intervene in the economy. “State-owned enterprises are an important tool, among others, that can enable the state to intervene in the economy. The government can use this platform for strategic economic growth and to create human capital,” Phiyega said at a media conference at the time.
Besides Phiyega, who is currently corporate affairs executive at Absa, having previously held senior positions at Transnet, other members of the committee include: Glen Mashishi, CEO of Nullarbor Management Consultancy Services; former Transnet CEO Mafika Mkhwanazi, who currently serves as a nonexecutive director at a range of JSE-listed companies; Deon Crafford, of Barnstone Holdings; Swazi Tshabalala, CEO of the Industrial Development Group; Dawn Morole, who has been a director of a number of large companies; Pramod Mohanlal, of Nedbank; Gugu Ngcobo, who has cultural industry and telecommunications experience; Professor Mbulelo Mzamane, an academic, who previously served as the vice-chancellor and rector of the University of Fort Hare; Dr Takalani Madima, a lawyer, who is currently adjunct professor of law in commercial law at the University of Cape Town; Lumkile Mondi, the chief economist of the Industrial Development Corporation; and Nombulelo Mkhumane, of the Limpopo Economic Development Enterprise.
Public submissions: should be made in electronic Word format emailed to:
Human Sciences Research Council
PRC SOEs Public Submissions
Private Bag X 41