The Democratic Alliance party has kicked against President Jacob Zuma’s control of State Owned Companies demanding for answers.
Below is the party’s full statement on the issue.
“The DA will be submitting written parliamentary questions both to the Presidency and the Minister of Finance regarding the absurd Cabinet decision to place President Zuma in charge of overseeing all strategic decisions related to state owned entities.
This is manifestly irrational for the simple reason that President Zuma has no mandate to directly oversee state entities given that he has Cabinet appointments in Ministers Lynne Brown and Pravin Gordhan who are paid in excess of R4 million per annum between them to carry out this very function.
This ill-conceived decision by Cabinet will effectively hamstring both Minister Brown and Minister Gordhan even further and block them from fixing our beleaguered state entities as they have to committed to doing. This is obviously by design so that President Zuma can further frustrate the process of rescuing the most mismanaged SOE’s such as SAA and Denel and in so doing continue his reign of patronage in favour Dudu Myeni and others.
It is obvious that this move to centralise power to the President is a bid to exclude the powers of Treasury and the Minister of Finance. This will be the last nail in the coffin for entities such as Eskom, Denel and SAA that have seen their balance sheets heavily impaired by ANC cadre related deals and gross mismanagement by Zuma appointed executives.
That Cabinet has placed President Zuma at the apex of this strategic imperative defies all logic owing to the fact that he has been fingered in many dodgy deals at our SOE’s including Denel, SAA and Eskom using various functionaries: Namely, Dudu Myeni, the Guptas etc.
Specifically the DA will be seeking answers to the following:
- Will The Presidency be forming a presidential coordinating committee or any committee that seeks to oversee state owned companies;
- Will the President be overseeing strategy in state owned companies through the presidential coordinating committee;
- What will be the powers of the presidential coordinating committee;
- When will the presidential coordinating committee come into effect; not
- Whether or not this is an effective duplication of the Minister of Public Enterprises?
Pursuant to the Rules of Parliament, the President and the Presidency alike are duty-bound to answer these questions in full and make clear the rationale that has occasioned this move which appears to be an attempt by the President to further tighten his stranglehold on our economy that which each day moves closer to the precipice of collapse.
Whilst we wait for the SAA board to be reshuffled in order to avoid imminent bankruptcy and more state guarantees being issued at taxpayers expense, we are keeping a close eye on the impasse between Zuma and the Minister of Finance.
We will not allow Zuma to centralise power to himself and influence decisions concerning public money at public institutions as his track record for self-enrichment points to a gross abuse of power.
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The DA believes that the people of South Africa come first and decisions concerning public institutions cannot be centralized by the President, especially whilst a majority of these are under-performing.”