Ramaphosa says boards of state companies will no longer play role in tenders

The government is working to end of the role of boards at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in deciding tenders, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday. 

"We are changing the way SOEs have been working by ensuring that board members are not directly involved themselves in procurement responsibilities," said Ramaphosa.  

The president was answering questions in the National Council of Provinces. He said in the past board members at some state firms became involved in the awarding of tenders. "It is not the right thing to do," he said. 

Ramaphosa said the Special Investigating Unit was probing fraud and corruption allegations at state power utility Eskom and rail and port company Transnet. He promised that announcements would "soon" be made. 

In response to a question about how the state had improved the running of SOEs, Ramaphosa said government had appointed new boards at critical state companies Eskom, Transnet and Denel to make sure people with expertise, and integrity have been appointed. 

"[This] has done much to improve confidence and create conditions for operational and financial recovery for those SOEs. Several of these boards have undertaken measures to uncover corrupt activities and hold those responsible accountable," he said. 

Ramaphosa also said he would give evidence before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture if asked to appear before it. 

"I have no opposition, I will go with a great deal of pleasure," he said.  "It is a public commission, the people of South Africa deserve to know [what is happening]". 

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