ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that people who are not suitably qualified will not be appointed to manage State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), even if they are politically-connected.

Government is not ready to totally dispose of its loss-making core assets, including cash-strapped entities like Eskom and South African Airways. Ramaphosa says that SOEs have the potential for economic growth and job creation.

Ramaphosa’s view is likely to ease tension between the government and labour, as trade unions fear that the ANC wants to privatise SOEs and retrench workers.

He briefed the media after the ANC National Executive Committee meeting in Irene, Pretoria.

“There should be greater and more effective attention on the operational efficiency, integrity and functionality of our SOEs, as well as ensuring that the people who are fit for purpose are appointed to the various position. We should avoid political interference in operational matters of our SOEs.”