JOHANNESBURG- In his State of the Nation Address on Friday evening, Cyril Ramaphosa said Government will take further measures to ensure that all state-owned companies fulfil their economic and developmental mandates while rooting out corruption in the process.
In his address to delegates, Ramaphosa said: “We will need to confront the reality that the challenges at some of our SOEs are structural – that they do not have a sufficient revenue stream to fund their operational costs. These SOEs cannot borrow their way out of their financial difficulties, and we will, therefore, undertake a process of consultation with all stakeholders to review the funding model of SOEs and other measures,” he said.
Taking a swipe at recent developments, Ramaphosa said: “We will change the way that boards are appointed so that only people with expertise, experience and integrity serve in these vital positions. We will remove board members from any role in procurement and work with the Auditor-General to strengthen external audit processes. As we address challenges in specific companies, work will continue on the broad architecture of the state-owned enterprises’ sector to achieve better coordination, oversight and sustainability,” he said.
He promised to turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions.
“The criminal justice institutions have been taking initiatives that will enable us to deal effectively with corruption. The commission of inquiry into state capture headed by the Deputy Chief Justice, Judge Raymond Zondo, is expected to commence its work shortly. The Commission is critical to ensuring that the extent and nature of state capture are established, that confidence in public institutions is restored and that those responsible for any wrongdoing are identified. The Commission should not displace the regular work of the country’s law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting any and all acts of corruption. We must fight corruption, fraud and collusion in the private sector with the same purpose and intensity. We must remember that every time someone receives a bribe there is someone who is prepared to pay it. We will make sure that we deal with both in an effective manner,” he said.
He further urged professional bodies and regulatory authorities to take action against members who are found to have acted improperly and unethically.
“This requires that we strengthen law enforcement institutions and that we shield them from external interference or manipulation. We will urgently attend to the leadership issues at the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that this critical institution is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered,” he said.