Pretoria – The Presidency says there is nothing untoward about the establishment of the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Coordinating Council.
The establishment of the SOE council was announced by Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, at the post Cabinet Lekgotla briefing this week.
“There is nothing sinister or new about the establishment of the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises Coordinating Council. The recommendation to establish a SOE Council of Ministers was made by the Presidential Review Committee (PRC) on State-Owned Enterprises, which was appointed in 2010.
“The PRC’s recommendations were approved by Cabinet in April 2013 and were released to the public by the late Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane.
“There has been intense speculation since the announcement this week, with some commentators and journalists suggesting some sinister motives behind the establishment of the Council. Such speculation is baseless and false,” said the Presidency on Thursday.
President Jacob Zuma appointed the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), which is chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to oversee the implementation of the PRC’s recommendations. In the recently held Cabinet Lekgotla, the IMC recommended that the Presidential SOCs Coordinating Council be established to give effect to the PRC’s recommendation of a SOE Council of Ministers.
The Presidential SOCs Coordinating Council is one of the measures that are being introduced as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the shareholder model of State-Owned Companies in order to improve their performance.
President Zuma chairs other coordinating structures such as the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC), which oversees the implementation of major infrastructure projects across the three spheres of government. He also chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investment, which coordinates government’s efforts at attracting investment.
The role of these structures, including the newly established council on SOCs, is only to coordinate and oversee, and ensure that all parties work together and not in silos.
“It is not to directly run projects or usurp responsibilities of line function Ministers. We therefore wish to reiterate the following: the Inter-Ministerial Committee, chaired by Deputy President Ramaphosa is responsible for overseeing the stabilisation and reform of SOE.
“One of the reform measures currently being developed by the IMC is the establishment of a Presidential SOCs Coordinating Council, which will allow for better oversight and coordination of state owned companies.
“This measure is part of a comprehensive overhaul of the shareholder model of State-Owned Companies being led by the IMC in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Review Committee on State Owned Entities,” said the Presidency.
The Cabinet Lekgotla mandated the IMC to continue with the implementation of these recommendations.