Budgetary Review And Recommendation Report Public Enterprises

National Assembly, Parliament
Hon N Singh, MP

Honourable Chairperson

The IFP supports the recommendations of the Committee contained in the BRRR.

However, having said that, one begins to continually question the need for the existence of the Department of Public Enterprises. Oversight by the department of SOEs is far from desirable.

At a meeting set for a briefing by the Alexkor Board on its Annual Report, the Portfolio Committee was informed that the CFO had resigned six weeks previously, yet the Department did not advise the committee, let alone the Chairperson, of this fact and the two Alexkor representatives were sent packing.

The arms-length relations between the Minister, Department and Boards are issues I have raised before.

The Department has failed to intervene when things are going wrong.

It is time the SOEs, for which this department has oversight, fall directly under the line function departments.

With reference to the Eskom Board. In the State of Capture Report , the former Public Protector states

“It appears that the Board at Eskom was improperly appointed and not in line with the spirit of the King III report on good Corporate Governance.”
“…A Board … is expected to act in the best interests of the
Republic of South Africa at all times and it appears that the Board may have failed to do so.

It appears as though no action was taken on the part of the Minister … … to prevent these apparent conflicts.”

Those findings by the former Public Protector are matters of concern.

More than that, enough prima facie evidence exists in the State of Capture Report to suggest that

“The Eskom Board does not appear to have exercised a duty of care or acted, which may constitute a violation of section 50 of the PFMA.”

We do appreciate that notice has been given that there will be a review of the State of Capture Report, but whatever the outcome is, it points to ALL not being well in the oversight of SOEs.

While all of the contestations take place, it is incumbent upon the Minister to recommend to the President that an urgent enquiry be instituted to afford all parties to present their views and facts on the relationship between Eskom and companies in which the Gupta’s have interests.

I thank you.

Hon Narend Singh, MP
083 788 5954
IFP Media, Parliament