2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


GOVERNMENT'S RESTRUCTURING POLICY

STATEMENT ISSUED BY CEDRIC FROLICK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

The announcement by Minister Radebe is an anti-climax since it merely reflects good intention and no implementation plan.

A number of issues remain of great concern to the UDM:
1.   Although the Policy Framework identifies Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in the restructuring process, the UDM is pessimistic about Government's chances of success, given its dismal track record. The ANC tends to confuse BEE with rewarding comrades from its own ranks and redeploying incompetent cronies to head State Owned Enterprises (SOE's). In the process the ANC creates its own "elite class" at the expense of the unemployed, poor masses.

2.   The Policy Framework acknowledges the fact that in the short-term job losses will take place due to the restructuring process, however the extent of the job losses remains a closely guarded secret. Little detail have been supplied with regards to the retraining of employees who will face possible retrenchment.

3.   According the MTEF potential proceeds will be forthcoming from the restructuring of SOE's. How does Government's Policy Framework on Restructuring deviate from the budget, and why? Will the expected proceeds from restructuring for the current year exceeds the budget, and by how much?
Do the expected proceeds from restructuring reflect the real value of the assets concerned?

4.   There is no clearly defined action plan for restructuring or privatisation, i.e. action steps coupled to dates and responsibilities. The only conclusion is that there is little or no urgency in this regard.

5.   Questions remain about competition issues within the affected sectors, which will discourage possible investors and deter quality service.

6.   This represents another missed opportunity to:
Attract foreign investment
Kick-start the economy
Reduce government debt
Reduce funding from other sources
Boost investment
Enhance local ownership
Benefit all South Africans by improving services

Due to the failure of Government to announce a "privatisation" program that can be implemented over the next five years, we can only assume that the Tripartite Alliance have not yet reached agreement on the direction "privatisation" should take, how much can be expected to be generated in receipts and how such receipts can be utilised to the benefit of all South Africans.

It is to be expected that that the markets will react negatively on Government's Policy Framework on Restructuring.

Enquiries:
Cedric Frolick, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Public Enterprises

Cape Town
10 August 2000