South Africa: Pravin Gordhan’s Mission to Undo Rotten Deals and Save State-Owned Enterprises

analysis

Project Recapture is on. Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday acknowledged that his department, and many of the State-owned Entities (SoEs) it oversees, had been at the centre of State Capture, but then used his budget vote speech to set out how those days of complicity are over. Entities are being “recaptured” for good governance, accountability to the South African public and financial sustainability for a contribution to job creation and economic growth.

Some 50-odd days into the job, and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has rolled up his sleeves. Whether he gets the recommended eight hours of sleep a night is doubtful. Much of the sweep-up is supported by the new boards he was able to put in place at Transnet, following last week’s resignation of three board directors there, and arms manufacturer Denel. The Eskom board preceded his appointment to public enterprises, but shares the same recapture mindset.

With new boards in place, there has been a revolving door of executive resignations, usually for personal reasons and with immediate effect. In late January it was Eskom chief…

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