President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed members of the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises Council who will assist SOEs to achieve financial sustainability and better serve the developmental needs of the country.

The Presidency says in a statement that the council will be chaired by the President and include Ministers responsible for State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and eminent South Africans. Among these are Denel Chair, Monhla Hlala, Mapungubwe Institute Executive Director, Joel Netshitenzhe and Wits Adjunct Professor Michael Sachs.

Some of the issues the council will tackle include the development of an overarching act to govern SOEs as well as formulating interventions to assist in strengthening governance at the enterprises.

Many of the state-owned companies are in huge debt, having suffered years of maladministration and are also accused of offering mediocre services to South Africans.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has in the past stressed the need to fix the country’s SOEs, including power utility Eskom and South African Airways (SAA).

Earlier on Thursday, Cabinet approved the merger of three state-owned oil and gas firms to form a single national oil company.

This is a bid to cut debt and increase the competitiveness of state-owned firms.