Big companies across the world including SA, have made massive profits: Gordhan

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Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says big companies in countries across the world including South Africa, have made massive profits.

He says some have made 100%. Gordhan was participating in the Strategic Planning Session of the Presidential Climate Commission in Johannesburg on Friday.

He chaired the sub-commission for climate finance for a just transition. The sub-commission focuses on climate financing challenges and how obstacles can be overcome.

Gordhan shared information on how some obstacles could be minimised to create opportunities for the private sector through lowering risks.

“The second is to create opportunities for the private sector. They will judge on the basis opportunities for investment as many of you  have talked about this morning and they would approach this on a risk and reward basis. So if we reduce risk and rewards seem to be  reasonable,   although If  you watched some of the financial announcements over the last week big companies made ‘hell’ lot of profits around the world including in South Africa. So those numbers are excruciatingly huge in terms of 100% increase in profit,  50% increase in profit. I  hope Mr (Edward) Kieswetter is doing his job there. But how  we create that kind of environment  for private capital to come in, –  and be part of what the first speaker spoke about as triple Ps (Public- Private Partnerships) is going to be quite crucial as well,” says Gordhan.


The Public Enterprises Minister says nationwide awareness is necessary to prevent disruptions such as the 2021 July unrest. He says such awareness is critical to avoid plunging South Africa down in the eyes of investors – as climate change is also associated with the political economy. More than three hundred people died in the unrest which gripped KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last year.

Gordhan also told commissioners that self- introspection was necessary as South Africans tend to take too long to make up their minds,  before taking decisions.

“ So in a sense, there is a political economy around climate change that I think more account needs to be taken care of. So, every disruption we have, like July last year, is a factor that will  take us a couple of notches down in the eyes of the investor and there needs  to be a lot more awareness in a lot more quarters in South Africa. That  sort of behaviour doesn’t help, and that sort of conduct doesn’t help. And the extent to which we are able to bring that under control is going to be the extent to which we become an attractive centre. But also, we as South Africans have a  tendency to prevaricate around things. We take too long to make up our minds and too indecisive about who should do what,-if one has to be self-critical,”says Gordhan.

The independence of the Presidential Climate Commission, who should fund it  and how it should be funded also generated debate.