Mabuza defends government's decisions on SOEs

Deputy president David Mabuza
Deputy president David Mabuza
Image: Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu

Deputy president David Mabuza has defended decisions taken by government in addressing problems at state-owned enterprises, arguing they were taken by a collective not an individual.

Speaking at the SACP special congress in Kempton Park, Mabuza said he had been criticised in the ANC deployment committee for some of the decisions that have been made in placing people in positions in government and state-owned enterprises.

But Mabuza told the communists that decisions made on deployment were not taken by an individual.

"The recent deployment of the Eskom CEO is a case in point... The only person that is being blamed is the president. The decision to deploy... is a decision that we took collectively," said Mabuza.

"Yes, we accept that there are shortcomings in the manner we are deploying cadres and we want to commit ourselves to correct this."

Eskom announced its new CEO and government received a lot of criticism in particular from opposition parties such as the EFF.

The Red Berets viewed the appointment as working against the transformation agenda.

The special congress is held at midpoint by the SACP to assess work done on the conference resolutions and also look into the current political environment.

Mabuza said government was ready to confront weaknesses faced by all the state-owned enterprises.

"The decision to put SAA under business rescue is a decision that we took. It is not a decision of the president.

"It is in the best interest of the workers at SAA and it is in the best interest of the entity [for it] not to close down," he said.

Government recently placed the ailing state airline under business rescue as its financial woes had reached the worst levels.

With regards to Eskom, Mabuza used the opportunity to apologise to the public for the inconvenience caused by the on-going loadshedding.

"We cannot allow Eskom to fail. We will do everything in our power to get Eskom right," he said.

He added that Eskom must accept that has to "We are going to tackle the challenges faced by all our state-owned enterprises together. Some of the decisions that we are going to take are going to be very unpopular," he said.

Mabuza urged the SACP to strive for the unity of the tripartite alliance as it was the ticket that gives all its members public trust and legitimacy.

The conference continues today.