Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
4 minute read
30 Mar 2021
5:15 am

SOEs play a key role despite being failed by politics

Brian Sokutu

According to 2019 statistics, 25 of the largest SOEs accounted for a fifth of South Africa’s capital stock.

Picture: Michel Bega

From apartheid capitalism, an indecisive developmental state, to a decade of billions of rands being siphoned off in the state capture project which is being probed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, South Africa’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have gone through challenging times in evolving political economy, with many loss-making SOEs reduced to becoming begging bowls. In a study, sustainable development experts Mark Swilling and Nina Callaghan of Stellenbosch University conceded that despite SOEs having been failed by politics, they remain large-scale institutions responsible for managing capital-intensive infrastructure and investments, playing a key role in the national economy. According to 2019...