Speech By The Honourable Elizabeth Thabethe, Chairperson Of The Portfolio Committee Energy During The Occasion Of The Debate Of The State Of The Nation Address

15 February 2010

Madam Deputy Speaker
President of the Republic, his Excellency Jacob Zuma
Deputy President
Speaker of the National Assembly
Deputy Speaker, Members of the Executive
Members of Parliament
Guests good evening

We will be doing injustice if we do not understand the historical context on which state-owned enterprises were conceived in South Africa by the apartheid government. The apartheid government gave the developmental mandate to SOE`s at the time. They were used as primary tools for industrialization and they were an essential and ingredient for government`s industrial strategy at the time. Through SOE`s government assume that dominant role in the key infrastructure industries, like rail, air, sea transport, telecommunications, water, coal-based synthetic fuels, nuclear energy also the iron and steel. The state also viewed these industries as key instruments for industrialization, employment creation and economic development not forget that it was colour-bar that you must be either white and then you will get a job in an SOE.

It is so fundamental but it`s so surprising that we hear the leader of opposition in parliament and all the other speakers saying that SOEs` are not working properly due to the ANC deployment cadre policy. But during apartheid I didn`t hear them saying the same thing because these were used as tools to make sure that we can be further exploited and then...

Yes, but you never uttered a word at the time. Thanks to democracy and through the ANC you can come here, stand and talk about all those things that you did during the apartheid era.

Through you Deputy Speaker, over the last 16 years of ANC democratic governance, it has become clear that the primary orientation of the South African state-owned enterprises will have to fundamentally transform. An SOE orientation that is premised on a culture of profit maximisation that embraces a shareholder maximization approach should be debunked in favour of an approach that is redistributive and developmental. As you all know our Gini coefficient-I don`t have to lecture you on that, but the economic path of SOE as advocated by the ANC embraces economic growth, economic development and redistribution. The RDP integrates growth, development, reconstruction and redistribution into these unified programmes that the President is heading.

It is in this view of the ANC that the integrated economic development as advocated in the RDP as agreed to by all alliance partners. The SOEs are primary vehicles in ensuring this time around skills development especially to the poor or the pro poor who never had the time during the apartheid era to experience such empowerment, but also to talk about job-creation and poverty alleviation. It should also be noted that the ANC is a social movement that rejects a growth path that will marginalized the poor and exacerbate inequalities. It has always been the view of the ANC that elements of economic growth should be combined with those of economic redistribution so that we can see the economic development. It is within this context that the ANC is convinced that it is essential that we promote a new growth path and development in the economy.

Yes, we do agree that some of the SOEs as we took over in 1994 were not good but those are not ANC`s SOEs. They were started by the apartheid regime at that time. Some of them were at the verge of collapse but there were revived and now some of them are working better. Don`t brush all of them with the same paint, they are different, some of them are doing a good job example Necsa is one of the nuclear company that is providing the isotopes for everyone locally in the hospitals and also exporting them to other countries, but none of you talk about those. You all talk only about Eskom and SAA. Why don`t you talk about those that are also doing a good job? There are there are lot of utilities and agencies that that are doing a good job but you say less on those things because you are always looking for the negative. President steadfast

Ka Sesotho rere, lelala o shebe pele, o sebetse hobane dintho tse etswang ke mokgatlo wa ANC ke tse sebeletsang setjhaba, le ba neng ba kene ka hara "apartheid" ba eja, ba ntse ba eja le kajeno. [Mahofi] Empa re tshepa hore jwalokaha ntate Lechesa a buile ha are, lepotlapotla le ja podi, lesisitheho le ja kgomo. Ho lokisa dintho tse manyofonyofo tse entsweng pele ANC e nka di "State Owned Enterprises" ho ka se nke dilemo tse 16.

Show me in the world which country has got a sound microeconomic "jwaloka SA" after 16 years?

Which country is that? It is through the ANC policies that today you can talk better. We are in recession but you were not affected like other countries did. Thanks to the leadership of the ANC at the time to take good policies because economic policies are not like a one week, two weeks, you take a long view but in that you might get people who don`t agree with you but the ANC took the right decision. Mr President you are on the right track, don`t get people who will be talking and commentating.

O sebeditse mokgatlo wa ANC, o sebeditse o lwanetse batho, o tseba le hore na di SOE tsena re batla ho di sebedisa ka tsela e jwang hore di thuse batho. Ke ka hona ke reng lelala o shebe pele ba se ke ba nna ba o tshwara ka mona le ka mona ba re ha o sebetse, mokgatlo ona o sebeditse hle! O ntse o sebetsa ebile di ngata le tse sa ntse di tla etswa hape, le se ke la tata bea butle. Ha o tatile haholo o a tjhaisa. Ke makala hampe ha ke utlwa moo batho ba ema ba re he! he! kajeno re lokisitse, kajeno re tla lokisa, ba bang ha le e so tshware puso bophelong ba lona, ba bang le hlolehile pele. Empa le bona eka lona le tla etsa betere ha le fihla mona.

Transformation is easier said than done. It is easy to talk outside but once you are there and do it. It is different.

E fapane, ha e tshwane feela ke a tseba hore bohle re tseba hantle hore na re tletse eng mona, "all of us must make sure and we believe that Mr President" jwalokaha o boletse le ho "interview" ya rona di sa ntsane di shejwa di "State Owned Enterprises" hore na di ka sebetswa ka tsela e jwang.

Zingenziwa kanjani ukuthi zibuyekezwe ngoba sebefuna ukwazi ngaphambili ukuthi wena uzozenza njani. Unikezwe igunya abantu baseNingizimu Afrika ukuthi uhole lelizwe futhi sebenza ngendlela elungele ijubane lakho. Ungayi ngabo bazokulahlekisa [Ihlombe.] Njengoba ubukade ushilo ngonyaka odlulile ukuthi:
Ngiyacaphuna: "Abantu basemakhaya nabo banelungelo lokuba nogesi, amanzi, izindlu zangasese ezigijima amanzi nemigwaqo."

Konke lokhu uma sinama-state-owned enterprises asebenza kahle kuzaba lula. Kodwa azange kube khona i-appetite ephumayo ngalesikhathi seminyaka eyishumi eyedlule sesithola ama-outages. Ibhizisi azange ifune ukuma nombuso zihlangane ukuze sibone ukuthi i-energy siyenza njani. Bamele eceleni bagoqa izandla. Kodwa uma singena gesi bathi: hawu! Umbuso kaKhongolose awusebenzi. Khulumani nabo phela nina bochwepheshe abazi kakhulu ukuthi mababe ne-appetite bazokwazi ukuthi benze kodwa mina ngikuzwe kahle Mongameli.

Uthe ama-IPPs azawusebenza. Unikeze uNgqongqoshe wethu umama UDipuo Peters ukuthi ahole ithimba le Interministerial committee ku-energy. Njengoba eshilo umama uSonjica usukhokhele kahle kakhulu eCopenhagen. Hawu! Isithwathwa sisiqedile kodwa hayi! wafika kwalunga.

Wahola lama-Head of States amanye wathi indlela kwenziwa nje.
Masiboneni ukuthi siyasayinda manje ukuze sibe nale-accord ukube azange ufike wenze njalo. Bebe kuphi labo abathi awenzi lutho futhi awusebenzi? Nomama uSonjica wasibeka esimeni esikhulu kakhulu. Hawu! Wazile ukubeka lapho Mongameli. Umama lo usebenze kakhulu eCopenhagen, kunzima kodwa sigcine sine-accord. Phela sikhumbule sisese yizwe elisathuthuka. Asikabi yizwe elithuthukile kepha sisebenza ngcono ngaphezu kwamazwe asethuthukile because of the ANC policies and nothing else

Fundamental to the task of the SOEs, is assisting in fostering economic...I was listening to you "thula" shut up Fundamental to the task of the SOEs, is assisting in economic growth and development that only transforms the economy based in promoting productive, income generating economic activities but also ensuring that growth has the resultant effect of the economy in its entirety not an exclusive economy and an inclusive economy. We hope that the economic configuration should provide conditions that encourage them to enter strategic industries and with the leadership of the ANC policies we are going to attain.

As I close Deputy Speaker, it is in our opinion as the ANC that we will make the state-owned enterprises work and the President, the NEC has got a plan on how we deal with it. There is no major crisis that people are putting as a major crisis. There is no major crisis, there`s a plan and wait until the plan is unveiled by the Presidency. We will make the SOEs work for the better of the majority of the people not only the less.

I believe in slogans. I am sorry, the leader of a DA in parliament if you didn`t believe in slogans where same people shall govern. People are governing now. At the time that we were saying that, we were led by the white minority but today the people are governing. I believe working together we can do more. Don`t take empty slogans. If you believe in empty slogans, I believe in strongly because those slogans you never realised that today you`ll be led by a black President, never in your life. You thought it will be a white minority forever, but working together we can do more. We will accelerate and we will make SOEs work better.

I thank you!