Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan at Parliament earlier this month. Picture: ANA

Parliament - South Africa's state-owned enterprises need technical experts to make up three-quarters of their staff, whereas at the moment up to half were administrative support staff, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

"Three quarters of staff should be experts in each sector we are dealing," the minister told Parliament's select committee on public enterprises and communication.

He said efforts to address this were underfoot, but the running of the department had for the past year been a case of crisis management as the woes of entities like Eskom, South African Airways and Denel worsen. 

"Much of the last year has been about crisis management. It has been a roller coaster. We are now beginning to understand their operations and what the consequences of the recent past have been."

Asked about turnaround plans at some of the parastatals, Gordhan told MPs that in deeply troubled companies the chances of successfully implementing such a strategy had been remote.

"It is easy to get a consultant to draft a turnaround strategy. It is another question whether a state-owned entity has the capacity to implement it."

African News Agency/ANA