Pravn Gordhan slams corruption happening in the SOEs sector.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Image: X/@MDN NEWS

Gordhan warns against corruption amid SOE crises

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has issued a warning about the dangers of corruption amid SOE crises.

Pravn Gordhan slams corruption happening in the SOEs sector.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Image: X/@MDN NEWS

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has issued a stark warning about the perils of corruption and the emergence of what he terms a “counter-revolutionary force.” His remarks were made during a speech on the second day of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) national policy conference.

Gordhan’s address underscored the growing concerns over corruption, which he believes is becoming increasingly pervasive, particularly highlighted during the last elections.

Election results reflect public discontent, says Pravin Gordhan

Gordhan interpreted the recent election results as a clear message to the ANC regarding its failures. He pointed out that the decline in votes stemmed from the party’s inability to implement effective policies and its misuse of public funds.

Threats to state-owned enterprises

According to IOL, Gordhan issued a dire warning about the ongoing corruption within SOEs, predicting their potential collapse if these practices continue. He cited the struggles of Transnet, Eskom, and South African Airways as examples of the damage caused by individuals exploiting their government positions for personal gain.

EWN reported, he stressed that treating SOEs as cash cows threatens their viability and called for a break from past corrupt practices. He urged the protection of previous achievements and the establishment of robust governance frameworks to ensure accountability.

“If we don’t stop that then we are defeating ourselves and we are going to once again say these institutions are not working,” Gordhan said.

Lasting damage from state capture

Discussing the extensive damage caused by state capture, Gordhan highlighted its detrimental effects over the past five years. He described how it dismantled governance systems, placed unqualified individuals in key positions, and eroded accountability structures. Corruption siphoned billions of rands from the public treasury, severely impacting the efficiency and operations of major SOEs. Gordhan emphasised that the focus had shifted from building efficiency to engaging in theft.

Gordhan warned that without proper reforms, efforts to rebuild these entities would remain futile.

Opposition criticises Gordhan’s tenure

In response to Gordhan’s announcement of resignation earlier this year, the Democratic Alliance criticised his tenure as disastrous. They argued that he failed to address the damage caused by the state capture project and left many SOEs in a worse state. The DA claimed that Gordhan squandered public goodwill by aligning with the ANC, resulting in further harm to the SOE sector. They contended that his tenure ended with significant challenges remaining unaddressed and key enterprises on the brink of collapse.