No more political interference in SOEs, ANC resolves after lekgotla

Ramaphosa outlines party policy on deployment, land expropriation and crime

20 January 2020 - 18:58 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday the party had resolved that there should be no political interference in the operational affairs of SOEs.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday the party had resolved that there should be no political interference in the operational affairs of SOEs.
Image: Gallo Images

There should be no political interference in the operational matters of state-owned companies in South Africa.

This was the resolution of the ANC national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla that ended on Monday, said party president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said this was a reiteration of a resolution already taken at the Nasrec conference in 2017.

The president further added that the only time political interference that would be allowed in SOEs would be on "strategic matters" and where there was "clear mismanagement and company failure".

Ramaphosa said the government would also look into possibly merging some of the SOEs, as the general view was that the current number of 740 was too high.

"There should be greater and more effective attention on the operational efficiency, integrity and functionality of our SOEs, as well as ensuring that people who are fit for purpose are appointed to the various positions in our SOEs," he said at the St George Hotel in Irene, Pretoria.

"We should look on embarking on a process of consolidation and rationalisation of our SOEs. We took the view that there is a plethora of these SOEs - more than 740 of them. We need to look at whether we should consolidate some or rationalise some. This is a process that will get under way."

Ramaphosa said the lekgotla resolved that the commercial and developmental mandates of all SOEs must be clearly stated and outlined to avoid confusion. 

The gathering also engaged on various other matter of national importance. These included:

Local government 

Ramaphosa said the ANC agreed that there was a need to strengthen local government in the country to speed up service delivery.

In this regard, the ANC would ensure that only suitable and fit people are deployed in the sphere of government where service delivery takes place.

"The ANC will become more stringent in the selection process for all public representatives, including setting qualification criteria for comrades who should be put on ANC list," he said, adding that there would be consistent performance monitoring of all deployees.

Land reform

The lekgotla agreed that the ANC was not doing enough to popularise its stance on the contentious land expropriation without compensation bill in parliament.

What is the ANC position on the proposal for the amendment of section 25 of the constitution?

Ramaphosa explained: "The lekgotla also received the report of the process that is now under way to amend section 25. The lekgotla was encouraged to get this report and endorse the recommendation that the power to determine the quantum for compensation for land expropriation should reside in the executive and that the amendment should articulate such.

"Women must be considered in rural areas in ownership of land and ... women must be at the centre of the land debate."

Crime and gender-based violence

The ANC resolved that legislation relating to crime prevention be updated. It also agreed that there should be stricter border controls to curb illegal entry into the country.

But over and above all intervention, it admitted that effective policing alone was not enough to solve the problem of crime.

"We must emphasise that the comprehensive strategy must go beyond providing only effective policing. It must also provide for mobilisation of civil society in assisting the crime problem that our country faces," said Ramaphosa.

"To eradicate gender-based violence we must have regard to various international instruments, such as the International Labour Organisation convention 190 on eliminating harassment in the workplace."

Foreign policy

The meeting resolved that South Africa would use its position this year as the chair of the African Union (AU) to advance economic growth on the continent.

"In pursuance of SA's chairing of the AU, we will work with progressive political parties and countries to ensure that we achieve [the] overarching goal of the AU, which is silencing the guns on our continent," he said.

"We are committed  to Africa's economic development, a goal we will seek to pursue as chair of the AU." 


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