State-owned enterprises are ‘sewers of corruption’: Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has described state-owned enterprises as “sewers of corruption” that his government was working hard to fix.
Addressing Gauteng-based professionals‚ academics and businesspeople at the Industrial Development Corporation head office in Sandton‚ Ramaphosa did not mince his words when describing the level of rot his administration found at a number of state-owned enterprises.
“The state-owned enterprises were sewers of corruption. A number of them were like where the sanitation had clogged up. There was rot‚ there was filth and there was deep corruption in those state-owned enterprises. We are rooting all that out right now‚” he said to loud applause from the about 500 professionals gathered at the venue.
He said the priority was to make sure there were proper procedures in place — and capable people employed — to run these state-owned enterprises.
Ramaphosa said he had established a presidential council where all the key state-owned enterprises would report to in terms of their financial management.
“We are going to look at the balance sheet of every state-owned enterprise‚ scrutinise it property and see what is happening in each one so that the balance sheet management is no longer in the dark corner of some funny office somewhere away from that SOE‚” he said.
The president also told the professionals that he was in support of land expropriation without compensation‚ to take away land from those who were not using it and hand it over to those who will use it meaningfully to improve their lives and help grow the economy.
“We now have a great opportunity to put land to good use‚ to take it out of those hands‚ those lazy hands‚ and put it into the working hands of our people. What value will this land add to the economy of our country? I believe it will add a great deal to the economy‚” he said.
Ramaphosa also said he had gone to see Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to apologise to him for the ANC having deviated from the values that were espoused by the founders of the movement.