JOHANNESBURG – Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is mulling the establishment of a liquidity facility to bring an end to the culture of bailouts and non-payments among state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as he hinted at the process of selling non-core assets, including SA Express.
Mboweni told journalists on the sidelines of his Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) speech that although the facility was yet to be formalised, it was key to managing government bailouts to SOEs.
“We are creating a dedicated liquidity facility within the Treasury that would manage money appropriated from Parliament and enable us to differentiate between an equity injection by shareholders and a loan extended to SOEs. It will have a clear directive that the loans need to be repaid. There is currently confusion between equity and loans. Those days of going to Father Christmas for a bailout must come to an end,” said Mboweni.
Mboweni said he and Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane had agreed that some of the state assets could be in private hands.
“We have time between now and February to seriously deal with these issues. Maybe the time has come for us to sell or close down SA Express, which can be an interesting study if you want to close something else,” said Mboweni.