SOEs in dire situation, Public Enterprises Dept tells MPs

The department has briefed Parliament on the performance of SOEs like Transnet, Denel, South African Airways (SAA) and Eskom.

FILE: A Denel stand at an arms convention. Picture: @denelsoc/Facebook

CAPE TOWN – The Public Enterprises Department said that things were looking dire at some of the country’s strategic state-owned entities (SOEs), with some facing an exodus of key staff.

It said that COVID-19 had also made matters worse for entities, with some requiring bailouts.

The department has briefed Parliament on the performance of SOEs like Transnet, Denel, South African Airways (SAA) and Eskom.

Things are so bad at state-owned arms manufacturer Denel that foreign companies have moved in to provide services the company once provided.

The entity is not just short of cash, it’s also losing its best brains to foreign competitors.

Public Enterprises Director-General Kgathatso Tlhakudi: “Denel has also lost about eight engineers, one of their critical divisions here in Pretoria as those engineers get taken by the opposition. Quite a number of those engineers have left our shores.”

Things are also not looking rosy at state diamond miner Alexkor.

“The situation is not looking good but I must say they have been working very hard to optimise the situation they have had.”

Tlhakudi said that Eskom was also faced with financial challenges such as liquidity and high debt of R400 billion.

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