Daily Archives: December 23, 2016


South African Public Enterprises Minister Lynn Brown says all State-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the department are returning to their healthy liquidity status as a result of turnaround strategies.

This week, the board of South African Express Airways finally signed off the 2015/16 financial statement, after several delays caused by on-going disquiet about its going-concern status.

Logistics provider Transnet and power utility Eskom have stabilised, while others such as defence equipment manufacturer Denel are on the brink of turning around their fortunes, says the minister in alluding to their success in good corporate governance.

“It’s really three areas — financial sustainability, stable boards and that the shareholder’s compact between the State and the State-owned companies — that we have all those in place,” Brown said Thursday.

She said some of the parastatals were now recording reasonable profits and good returns for the shareholder.

“Eskom for example, in the interim results in September, has actually booked a 9.3 billion-Rand (about 659 million US dollars) profit. Now Transnet is just under 6.0 billion Rand in profit in a period when there’s been a commodity downturn in the world actually. So I’m pleased with it,” said Brown.

She added that in the past two years, none of the parastatals under her department had required government intervention in terms of guarantees.

As for SA Express Airways, Brown said plans are afoot to maintain its sustainability. In the previous financial year, the airline made a net loss of 132 million Rand, and as at the end of March, 2016, it had accumulated losses of 173 million Rand, but Brown said losses are now a thing of the past.

She said SA Express and all other SOEs under her portfolio would begin making profits, and cease draining the State coffers.



The severe drought which has gripped parts of KwaZulu-Natal Province in the eastern part of South Africa is worsening with rivers and dams in the Mhlathuze area on the KZN north coast running dry.

Rural communities are the most affected. Lungani Mthembu, a 27-year-old small scale farmer who supplies local retailers with fresh produce, says the severe drought in the province has cut his production by half.

The municipality says water levels in the main dam which supplies water to most parts of Umhlathuze, about 170 kilometres northeast of here, now stand at less than 20 per cent of its capacity.

Despite the recent rains in some parts of the province, the crippling drought persists and most farmers are struggling to stay afloat.

The local authorities say the only option now is to impose further water restrictions to minimize the impact of the drought.

Towns like Richards Bay and eMpangeni are expecting scores of visitors for the festive season and warnings have been issued to hotels and bed and breakfast establishments to alert visitors to save water. “Failure to do so will result in further restrictions, says Umhlathuze Mayor Mduduzi Mhlongo.

Farmers organizations say the government must intervene urgently to save the situation.