Those responsible must be held to account: Gordhan

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Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says the term State Capture does not cover the full extent of damage caused by looting at State-Owned-Enterprises (SOEs).

Briefing the media ahead of his department’s budget vote in Parliament, Gordhan says all those responsible must be held to account.

He says there has been close to 3000 forensic reports related to corrupt activities in SOEs.

“Often the word ‘state capture’ doesn’t quite reflect the cost both in money terms but in qualitative terms as well. If you look at some of the numbers, the locomotive dealer Transnet alone over and above the actual cost we probably lost somewhere around R7 or 8 billion. SAA and SA Express something like R5 or 6 billion in irregular leases and overcharging and spares.

“At Eskom, they are still getting on top of the numbers but billions of rands potentially,  consulting firms like Regiments and Trillian have made lots of money. It could total another billion or so as well,” Gordhan explains.

Gordhan says his department will work to appoint independent boards at all SOEs. He added that SOEs would be expected to present comprehensive plans to ensure the enterprises’ financial sustainability.

“What we want to see in the SOEs are independent boards that understand the nature of the business, they understand the nature of the operation of the entity, understand the financial constraints that we work under and help us to think through and set a different path for these SOEs. So governance and accountability, each of the SOEs we expect will also present to us how they are going to become financially sustainable over a period of time.”