Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said it was vital for those who were opposing government's anti-corruption drive at state-owned enterprises to be exposed. Picture: ANA

Cape Town - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday said it was vital for those who were opposing government's anti-corruption drive at state-owned enterprises to be exposed. 

Gordhan told a media briefing ahead of his department's budget vote that within two years troubled state-owned enterprises could and should play an important role in reviving the economy but for this to happen those obstructing the process had to be outed and stopped.

"If the fightback against the kind of changes that we are trying to make to stop the malfeasance, to get rid of the corruption, to clean up the procurement lines, to get the cost structures in each of these entities appropriately balanced, if we get that right, without the kind of interference that we are seeing at the moment, then we should be on a fairly good footing in the next 18 to 24 months," he said. 

"And that is why exposing the fightback, exposing the proponents of the fightback, is an extremely important thing for the public to understand and for us to do and we call on good South Africans to join us in making sure that important assets of the state become productive on the one hand and become positive contributors to our economy on the other hand."

The remarks come a day after Gordhan in a court affidavit accused Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane of, wittingly or unwittingly, helping the cause of those seeking to perpetuate state capture, the massive rent-seeking scandal that defined the administration of former president Jacob Zuma.

The minister has asked the court for an interdict to halt the implementation of remedial action Mkhwebane ordered against him pending a full review of her finding that he flouted the law in the appointment of an intelligence unit within the South African Revenue Service. 

Gordhan has maintained that the unit was not established illegally, and stressed in Thursday's briefing that he has been vindicated by more than one inquiry. 

African News Agency (ANA)