The government is at it again – still dishing out billions of rand left, right and centre to SOEs that have run into the ground.
This is ironic because the very same government is telling citizens to tighten their belts. What an insult!
The latest entity to benefit is Transnet, to assist it to achieve its “turnaround plans”. But this is patent nonsense.
These SOEs are forever “turning around” with no positive results. Pure logic demands that when an entity has been given a bailout, its management/board must account and take responsibility when, the next time around, they ask for more.
This ploy – to run entities into the ground and then blackmail SA that if they don’t get a financial lifeline the country will collapse – is exactly what is going on at Transnet.
This government is perplexing in its decision-making. It puts people in charge of these entities, they fail and dare to ask for more money, and they given it with no consequences.
What do Gordhan and his boss Ramaphosa think they are doing? Why not just fire these boards and get people who can run them?
Or even better, why do they not fire themselves by admitting that they have failed to show leadership?
One absurd reason put forward by Transnet to get the bailout is that it is using outdated equipment such as cranes. But anybody who is sane cannot just accept this. Equipment has a shelf life, like anything else.
Did they not know that this was finally going to happen and just slept on the job and suddenly realised their equipment was old?
This is almost like what happened at Eskom where, in the interest of keeping the lights on at all costs, management ignored maintenance. This is the main reason why we have a ruined Eskom today.
How an entity which claims it has “engineers” can blunder through such issues is unbelievable. Unless, of course, there’s something sinister, ie deliberately collapsing these entities, ask for more money from the government and steal it together with those who sanction bailouts.
* Dr Thabisi Hoeane COD, Political Sciences Department, Unisa Pretoria.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.