President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) on Friday said President Cyril Ramaphosa's state-of-the-nation address hit the right notes where the economy was concerned, but warned that more decisive action was needed at the country's state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

"The intent to revitalize the economy through small business centres where youth entrepreneurs will be given both technical and financial support is an added significant positive move," SACCI said in a statement.

"We also welcome the decisiveness around resolving the capital and operational issues surrounding the power utility Eskom and we look forward to the presentation of the Budget to see how this will be funded."

SACCI said Ramaphosa's pronouncements must now be followed by clear execution plants which should be communicated to the country.

Where South Africa's SOEs are concerned, the chamber urged the president to change the way their boards are appointed. 

"Billions of Rands have been lost by SOEs and the area of governance and performance have been identified as key culprits," SACCI said.

"To enable the state to move forward in this area we propose that a structure similar to that of the Judicial Service Commission must now be established to handle the appointments of board members to SOEs. As with the appointment of judges, this should be done via public hearings."

SACCI also warned that government bailouts must be accompanied by clear plans to fill critical vacancies and sustainable turnaround plans. 

African News Agency (ANA)