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Debate on Vote 11 : Public Enterprises

Debate on Vote 11 : Public Enterprises

UCDP : Hon IS Mfundisi

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chairperson,

It would seem, that there’s never a dull day in the Minister’s working life and there’s always a fire to be put out in one or the other of the State owned enterprises. The most interesting in the public’s eye should be the Medupi Project, not only for the controversy it attracts but also because we should not have to live with collective anxiety that one of these days we may have to live with load shedding as we had to a few years back.

It has become public knowledge now that Minister has declared that he will not be accepting any further delays on the project with the deadline being the end of the year even though the initial deadline was April last year. It is doubtful that the project will produce power on scheduled time.

Of interest, is how Eskom has decided to draw the Alstom’s performance bond only when Alstom and Hitachi Power are reportedly both performing badly and with unacceptable complacency. We earlier heard that reports that Eskom relied upon work carried out by Hitachi were tampered with and that welding faults were concealed. How did then Hitachi get away with what appears to be fraudulent misrepresentation? Could it be that Hitachi is pardoned and its faults tolerated because of Chancellor House’s 25% stake in it? Is it because of the undisputed reports that the ANC stands to benefit R1bn from the Medupi contract? It still beats many of us how the World Bank would fund a project that had filthy political fingerprints in it.

Of course there is a need to have diplomatic trade relations with the rest of the African continent and we appreciate that the Minister appears to hold that view, we just hope that such relations do not bear catastrophic results as suggested by our military presence in Central African Republic, as such we would caution that South Africa must cease trying to play a paternalistic role to other African countries when seeking out these partnerships. Such an approach breeds contempt.

There seems to be stability in many of the African countries with a number of them having sustained growth even during the recent global recession, therefore there’s good reason to look into Africa more than we look at our European and Indian partners.

The State owned enterprises on this Department’s watch ought to play a visible role in developing manufacturing businesses to play an active role in the economy instead of enriching a few pockets of the chosen few to head them. Over and over again we’ve witnessed parting of CEO’s in these enterprises iipokotho zingavaleki yimali after allegations of misappropriation of money. I’d be interested to know what came of Mr Khaya Ngqula the former boss at SAA who almost drained the company with the help of his friend and relatives.

While we appreciate the extent which the SAA brings the world to Africa and takes Africa to the world, it is disconcerting that the North West Province is the only one without, flight facilities. We hope this matter will be addressed sooner that later,Honourable Minister.

I thank you


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