President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly on Friday evening. PHOTO: Phando Jikelo/ANA Photo
Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first State of the Nation Address on Friday promised an overhaul of the running of the country's graft-ridden public enterprises and vowed to fight corruption by strengthening the compromised national prosecutions office.

Ramaphosa said the state of some of the country's parastatals was such that they could no longer simply borrow themselves out of trouble, and therefore there would be a review of the funding model of state-owned enterprises.

But the government would also change the way in which the companies were run, and clean up boards in particular.

"We will change the way boards are appointed so that only people with expertise, experience and integrity are appointed. We will also remove board members from any role in procurement," he said.

"I want to repeat this one. I want to repeat it because in a number of SOEs we find that board members tend to get involved in operational matters, up to procurement."

Ramaphosa said the work of the commission of inquiry into state capture - the rent-seeking scandal that robbed parastatals of billions of rand and embroiled Jacob Zuma and his family - would be crucial for the country.

But the work of the National Prosecuting Authority - which is widely seen as having been hollowed out by Zuma - was as vital, and steps would be taken to ensure the body is staffed with competent people.

"We will ensure the NPA is stabilised and able to perform its mandate unhindered."

African National Agency/ANA