Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is cracking the whip on state-owned enterprises (SOEs), looking at legal avenues to allow government intervention to get them back on track.
Gordhan says it’s going to take time to recapture state-owned companies but he has a plan that in the long-term seeks to return stolen money to the public purse.
He’s briefed a joint meeting of Parliament’s two Public Enterprises committees on Wednesday on his action plan for the next year.
Gordhan says he’s seeking legal advice on whether contracts that were illegally awarded at SOEs can be reversed.
Memoranda of incorporation are also under review to allow government to flex its muscle as an SOEs shareholder and take temporary control.
“We would want to reassure the public that we are not just changing boards and management teams, but where we are clear about how much money has been stolen from which entity, by what mechanism and where has it gone, ultimately, we need that money back in South Africa.”
Gordhan says boards have been told to reconsider bonuses to executives at companies where there has been malfeasance.
He says those who have resigned in the wake of state capture allegations are not off the hook and will be criminally pursued.