Public invited to comment on SOE review

Riah Phiyega Public invited to comment on SOE reviewAs government searches for ways to increase the efficiency of State Owned Entities (SOEs), the Presidential Review Committee (PRC) on has called for public submissions on its review process.

In a statement, the review committee, led by Riah Phiyega, called for submissions from individuals, government departments, SOEs, organised business, labour, political parties, civil society, professional bodies, educational institutions, and industry associations.

SOEs under review will include Broadband Infraco, Transnet, Eskom, South African Airways and Denel amongst others.

While high-profile entities such as Transnet and Eskom will receive more attention than others, the review process will also affect the ICT landscape as changes would affect Broadband Infraco.

The SOE was established as an intervention to rapidly normalise telecommunications market and address the cost of broadband to the industry players and end users by making infrastructure on the national backbone – and international connectivity – available at reduced prices.

With growing concern over the running of SOEs, the committee notes that questions on the viability, effectiveness and developmental value need to be asked.  Under review will also be the governance, ownership models, policies and legislations governing SOEs – as well as the alignment of their mandates and agenda to state transformation plans.

The call follows previous announcements by Jacob Zuma, who noted there was a need to strengthen SOEs to ensure they contribute to public mandates.

The committee also noted that shareholder models would be reviewed as well as sustainable business models which would allow the entities to achieve commercial and developmental objectives. The review process would also welcome submissions on collaboration between government ministries and SOEs, as well as consider proposals for strategic management and operational effectiveness of SOEs.

The PRC has previously held seminars with domestic and international partners including consultations with SOEs, government departments and other role players.

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