SOEs no longer sustainable, mandate must be reviewed – PSA

5th October 2023

By: Thabi Shomolekae

Creamer Media Senior Writer


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Trade union the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) on Thursday urged government to reduce wasteful expenditure at State-owned entities (SOEs) and appoint qualified, experienced and competent professionals to ensure the survival of SOEs and attract investments for the country’s economic recovery.

The PSA expressed concern at South Africa’s troubled economic conditions, saying the increase in the inflation rate, and fuel and food prices exacerbate the situation.

“In addition, unemployment and crime rates increased drastically over the years. At the same time, tax revenue collection has declined. Service delivery to citizens is suffering whilst the cost of social relief grants has increased. International factors, such as the war in Ukraine and the weak US dollar, also contributed to the dire economic situation,” the trade union added.

The PSA noted that one of the interventions required to improve the country’s economic situation was a close focus on SOEs.

It explained that instabilities and uncertainties at the entities must be addressed, and urged government to put more emphasis on the effective and professional management of SOEs.

Capital budgets at SOEs have deteriorated and do not make profit, with SOEs no longer being sustainable, said the PSA.

The trade union noted that corruption had depleted government coffers, and capital budgets were looted owing to a lack of monitoring tools and accountability.

“The State Capture Commission made several recommendations, which were not implemented with urgency. Stolen monies must be recovered urgently to improve economic conditions,” the PSA urged.

It suggested government review the status of SOEs and reshape them to ensure positive contribution to the economy and said they should be managed to become cost-effective and to provide necessary support to government.

It further noted that bailouts to struggling SOEs must stop and SOEs must sustain themselves and create jobs.

“Government must appoint qualified executives in these entities to ensure proper direction. The investigation into corruption and criminal activities at entities such as Transnet, PRASA, Denel and Eskom, amongst others, must be fast-tracked. There should be constant collaboration with law enforcement agencies to curb corruption. Those found to be on the wrong side of the law must be punished,” said the PSA.



Edited by Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia




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