Vote 10: Public Enterprises – NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TUESDAY, 25 MAY MINI PLENARIES (VIRTUAL) 10:00 – 12:15

Hon. EM Buthelezi


Honourable Chairperson,

The IFP has long held the view that this Department should not exist, and that its various entities would be far better managed, were they to fall under their respective line function departments.

It would appear that this is the correct viewpoint, given the litany of bad business practices and gross maladministration that have plagued – and which continue to plague – the entities that currently fall within its mandate. Unfortunately, as always, South Africa and the South African taxpayers remain the losers.

The question we should be asking is: Is the current distribution of entities that fall under this Department sensical? How is this advancing our constitutional imperatives for transformation and accountability and very importantly, basic service delivery?

The IFP is of the opinion that this Department, if allowed to continue, will break the back of the South Africa economy.

As we speak here today, this Department remains one of the worst performers of our new democratic dispensation.

It glaringly seems to serve but one purpose, and that is advancing the ANC’s cadre deployment policy at the expense of this country, and at the expense of our people.

Thus, it is not surprising that the entities under this Department are always seeking a bailout. We can count them: Eskom, South African Airways, Denel.

They have cost us billions of Rands in bailouts.

The IFP believes that if we want to bring stability, we must stop making these entities nomadic. Instead, we should put them under their proper line function departments.

This will ensure far greater accountability and stability.

It cannot be feasible in any way that when a Cabinet Member is reshuffled from one Department to another, the state entities under him/her move with him/her to the next Department. This is a fantastic abuse of budget and leads to ever-compounding inefficiencies.

By continuing to allow this, this government has set these state entities up for continued failure.

At the end of the day, it is the people who must pay to bail out these entities. It is the people who must pay for the failures of these entities.

It is the people who experience the effects of the failures of these entities, such as load shedding, in the case of Eskom.

While the Department says that this Vote is about driving investment, productivity and transformation to unlock growth, drive industrialisation, create jobs and develop skills, the IFP believes that this is wishful thinking and negligent, if not wilful misdirection.Like many of its counterparts, this Department engages in a smoke and mirrors exercise in its Budget, hoping that the people will take the bait as regards the continued promises of jobs and transformation.

But the reality is that there are currently no jobs and no transformation at this Department, only gaping debt and insolvencies.

Only recently, South African Airways completed a retrenchment process. Denel is in tatters and cannot pay salaries.

Can we really trust that this Department will deliver the promise of jobs and transformation? No, that is impossible.

The IFP supports the Budget.

Thank you.