With just over three months in office, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has taken the sledgehammer to boards and higher management of embattled state-owned enterprises in a bid to root out corruption and elements of state capture.
Gordhan's turnaround strategy includes tackling financial, operational and governance challenges at a number of state entities such as Eskom, Transnet, SAA and Denel.
The first step was to address issues of governance.
ESKOM has announced that seven thousand construction workers at the construction site of the 145 billion rand Medupi power station at Lephalale in Limpopo will lose their jobs by the end of this year.— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) May 30, 2018
In January, the appointment of a new board at Eskom was announced. Since then, under its new CEO Phakamani Hadebe, Gordhan has reported steady progress in the stabilisation of the parastatal and a rise in investor confidence.
At SAA, Gordhan appointed a new board and an intervention team to assist management at SA Express. A new board was also appointed at Denel in April.
Then in May, Gordhan cracked the whip at Transnet, appointing an interim board with Popo Molefe as its chairperson.
I am left speechless by the allegations and counter allegations of maladministration, corruption and malfeasance at @Eskom_SA's Kusile coal-fired power station, which is now running 9 years late and 2x over budget at R160bn, with more to come... https://t.co/CfFXWigsil— Chris Yelland (@chrisyelland) May 27, 2018
He gave the new management across all entities a mandate to ensure good governance, accountability and transparency are restored; maintain the necessary independence from management for effective oversight; investigate any allegations of corruption, and review the financial status and ensure financial sustainability.