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Fix SOEs for sake of country

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Eskom and SAA, two of the parastatals that have dominated news headlines in recent days for different reasons, remain a blight on the economy

When it comes to state-owned enterprises there is no quick fix and long-term solutions are needed.

Eskom and SAA, two of the parastatals that have dominated news headlines in recent days for different reasons, remain a blight on the economy.

They depend on government bail-outs to remain operational while displaying inefficiency on a grand scale.

The appointment of Nampak chief executive Andre de Ruyter as the head of Eskom has been welcomed in some quarters and dismissed as short-sighted in others.

The truth is that De Ruyter has no space for failure as he has been handed one of the toughest management tasks in the country.

Government, civil society, business and consumers will be hoping for a turnaround at Eskom with ratings agencies hovering to see if the power utility can service its debt and deal with its inefficiencies.

At SAA, acting chief executive Zuks Ramasia is feeling the heat as a strike affects operations and is expected to cost the carrier R50million a day.

At a press conference yesterday Ramasia called on employees to return to work “for the sake of our customers and the company”.

SOEs in turn need to get their act together for the sake of citizens and the country.