Pravin Gordhan FILE PHOTO
JOHANNESBURG - Industry bodies yesterday urged new Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan to tackle governance failures and management issues at state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The Banking Association of South Africa managing director Cas Coovadia said the magnitude of problems facing SOEs should not be underestimated. Coovadia said most SOEs had been weakened significantly in the past few years.

“We expect him to immediately sort out government problems at these entities,” Coovadia said. “Secondly, he must make sure that we have people who are credible and ethical at the helm of these companies. We must have people in management who are capable of doing the job.”

Most of the country’s multiple problems are related to the so-called state capture, an elaborate type of corruption and looting through which private interests significantly influence the affairs of the state for their benefit.

Gordhan will be in the forefront of efforts to turn around wayward entities such as Eskom and Denel. The shortcomings of the country’s SOEs have contributed to the recent downgrades of the sovereign rating.