Jacob Zuma SONA 2016

President Jacob Zuma says many of our SOCs are performing well. Those companies that are no longer relevant to our development agenda will be phased out

While many of South Africa’s state owned companies (SOCs) are performing well, those that are no longer relevant will be phased out, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

Delivering the 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the National Assembly in Parliament, President Zuma said these entities must be properly governed and managed.

“Many of our SOCs are performing well. Those companies that are no longer relevant to our development agenda will be phased out,” he said.

For the state owned companies to contribute to the successful implementation of the National Development Plan, they must be financially sound, he said.

In addition, government will ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Review Commission on state-owned enterprises, which outlines how the institutions should be managed.

Streamlining the company mandates

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee which is tasked with ensuring the implementation of these recommendations.

“We have to streamline and sharpen the mandates of the companies and ensure that where there are overlaps in the mandates, there is immediate rationalization,” said the President.

Government departments to which these companies report to, will set the agenda and identify key projects for the state owned companies to implement, over a defined period. Proper monitoring and evaluation will be done.

President Zuma said the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has built some of the best roads in Gauteng and in many parts of the country while the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority has constructed dams of varied capacities, making it possible for people to have access to safe drinking water.

Transnet has built rail infrastructure which has enabled the country’s mines to move massive bulk of commodities through ports to markets around the globe