The Ministry of Public Enterprises will next year launch what it calls the Public Enterprise Transformation Project that will run over a number of years.
This was announced by Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste at a press conference in the capital yesterday, where he said the project will be the embodiment of the ministry’s aim to transform public enterprises into highly efficient entities providing products and services in the best interest of the country’s people.
“We have already formulated the draft roadmap for this project defining certain key initiatives,” he said.
He said the transformation will focus on policy-making, enhancement of the effectiveness of boards, strengthening of shareholders’ oversight, the implementation of the Public Enterprises Monitoring and Evaluation System (PEMES), improving the MPE system and processes and capacity building of the MPE, among others.
Jooste said the launch of the Public Enterprise Transformation Project will take place on a suitable date next year. “We embrace the economic realities facing us and we believe that it is our collective responsibilities to counter these challenges together with the efforts of the Ministry of Finance,” he said.
He added that the ministry embraces the fact that PEs play a major role in the country’s economy and the ministry is committed to complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Finance where the re-alignment of priorities are proving effective.
He said the MPE has been assigned with an extremely complex mandate and any reform will always be associated with resistance and even controversy.
“I want to ensure the public that we will at all times make the most appropriate recommendations in the best interest of the public,” Jooste said, adding that the historic level of bailouts and subsidies to PEs are no longer sustainable or acceptable and dedicated efforts are needed to curtail this.
Jooste said he believes the number of subtle interventions made by his ministry during 2015 and 2016 has already had a positive effect, but more radical interventions will be required in 2017 to ensure the necessary adjustments.
“Various business plans will urgently need to be reviewed and enhanced to address current inefficiencies and ti boost performance and profitability,” he, adding that his ministry will make the most appropriate recommendations to Cabinet for consideration and such recommendations will always be based on facts and never on assumptions.