New Presidential Council to ensure improved SOC oversight

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma says the establishment of the Presidential State-Owned Companies Coordinating Council is meant to ensure improved oversight and coordination of state-owned companies.

The President said this when fielding Parliamentary questions at the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane had asked the President how the newly established Presidential structure would interact with the existing Inter-Ministerial Committee, chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to oversee the stabilisation and reform of state-owned entities.

“The Presidential SOCs Coordinating Council is one of the measures that are being introduced as part of a comprehensive refurbishment of the shareholder model of state-owned companies in order to improve their functioning,” he said.

The Presidential SOCs Coordinating Council was formed at the recently held Cabinet Lekgotla on the recommendation of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on SOEs, to give effect to the Presidential Review Committee’s recommendation of a SOE Council of Ministers.

The President told Members of Parliament that any assumption that the newly appointed body was established to take the functions of line departments was incorrect.

“The President also chairs other coordinating structures such as the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, which oversees the implementation of major infrastructure projects across the three spheres of government - national, provincial and municipal level.

“The President also chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Investment, which coordinates government’s efforts to attract investment.

“The role of these structures is only to coordinate and supervise and ensure that they all work together and not in isolation. It is not to directly run projects or take over responsibilities of line function departments.

“Any such assumption is incorrect,” said President Zuma.

He said Cabinet will apply its mind further to the proposal of the IMC. He said that at this stage, no finality has been reached and there are no terms of reference or any other governance structure for the Council that has been finalised.

“Let me reiterate that the Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Deputy President Ramaphosa remains responsible for overseeing the stabilisation and reform of state-owned entities.

“The proposal to establish the Presidential SOCs Coordinating Council is aimed at assisting to ensure improved oversight and coordination of state-owned companies.

“We welcome inputs from stakeholders on how to tackle this important task of ensuring that state-owned companies become effective instruments of ensuring radical economic transformation and to improve the lives of our people,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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