July 14, 2010
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The terms of reference for the proposed state-owned enterprises (SOEs) review committee are currently being finalised, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.
Zuma was replying to a written parliamentary question by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Athol Trollip.
Trollip wanted to know whether the members of committee would be paid for their services, and how the work of this committee would differ from government's internal review of SOEs currently underway.
Zuma responded that remuneration could not be pronounced on categorically until discussion and agreement had been reached by all parties involved.
The terms of engagement would be based on guidelines from the public service and administration department (DPSA) and National Treasury regulations for similar services.
The mandate of the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) was different from that of the SOE review committee.
The terms of reference were in the process of being finalised and would be communicated in due course, Zuma said.
In a statement later, Trollip said Zuma had announced the review 143 days ago. In addition, details concerning the remuneration of committee members had yet to be finalised.
"The President's vague response constitutes yet further proof that the Zuma administration is entirely uncommitted to this undertaking, which now appears to be yet another example of smoke and mirrors, and places talk above actual outcomes," he said.
"One would have thought, and it is entirely reasonable to expect, that before announcing something as fundamental as a review, some thought would have gone into the structure of that review, its mandate, purpose and desired outcome."
But the "shambolic nature of the ideas implementation" suggested rather that it was nothing more than a spontaneous thought that "popped into the President's head, a spur of the moment impulse that was ill-considered and not properly conceived".
Trollip said the Zuma administration had thus far failed to develop a coherent strategy to address the poorly-performing money pits that the country's SOEs had become.
Despite going to the very heart of the way the economy was managed and its relationship to the state, not even a sentence was dedicated to the issue in the president's state-of-the-nation address earlier this year.
Zuma first announced government's intention to conduct a review of the country's SOEs almost as an aside, in a subsequent interview with the Sunday Times, and had since displayed increasing reluctance to follow through on this commitment.
"This is an administration which is big on announcements, but poor on delivery," he said. - Sapa