Johannesburg - Senior management positions at state-owned enterprises are fast developing a reputation as a poisoned chalice. In just 10 days, two senior executives have resigned at both the beleaguered Eskom and South African Airways, with an economist saying both state entities are now a “right royal mess”.
In May Eskom chief executive officer Phakamani Hadebe tendered his resignation to the embattled power utility, while on Monday SAA chief executive officer Vuyani Jarana followed suit by tendering his resignation at the troubled national carrier.
George Glynos, economist and managing director at Econometrix Treasury Management (ETM) said that a lot of the failures could be linked to political interference and developmental agendas pursued by government.
“If you’re going to be a CEO leading a company then you want to be given the freedom with which to express your strategies and views and if that is going to be hindered due to political interference and developmental agendas then you’re probably going to have a pretty tough time in achieving your objectives,” Glynos said.
He said that the notion of running SOEs efficiently while pursuing a developmental agenda was not compatible because there of the mix of objectives which makes it difficult to manage.