Chairperson, the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises undertook an oversight visit to the South African Airways, the South African Express Airways, Eskom and Denel from 26 to 28 November 2012. The main purpose of the visit to the South African Airways and South African Express was to meet the newly appointed board members of these companies and to be briefed on their turnaround strategies and the challenges facing them.
The purpose of the visit to Eskom was to get an update on the care and maintenance programme of the pebble bed modular reactor, PBMR. The purpose of the visit to Denel Overberg Test Range in Bredasdorp was to familiarise the committee members with the capabilities of the test range, its business and the challenges that they encountered.
During our visit we made certain observations and recommendations. I will just highlight some of those as my time will allow. In our visit to the South African Airways, some of the concerns raised by the committee were the corporate governance problems caused by the dual role of the chairperson of the board acting as the chief executive officer, the poor performance of the entity against targets and what has been done to improve performance, the use of labour brokers, and conditions of employment.
The committee recommended that the Minister of Public Enterprises should engage with the Minister of Transport to review the airport taxes, landing, parking and handling fees that are charged by the Airports Company of South Africa, ACSA, as they have a negative impact on the South African Airways, SAA; that the Minister of Public Enterprises should ensure that the board and the executive of SAA embark on outreach programmes to market the brand; that ambassadors, Members of Parliament and South Africans should be encouraged to fly SAA; and that it should be ensured that there is openness and transparency in the governance of the airline in order to enhance mutual relations between the board, management, staff and organised labour.
During our visit to the South African Express, some of the concerns that were raised there were the action that has been taken against former auditors, the low morale of staff, lack of public confidence in the airline, and the low representation of women in governance structures and the lack of capacitating them in business management.
The committee recommended that the Minister of Public Enterprises should ensure that members of the board promote visibility and accessibility through visits to airports in order to interact with the staff and customers. The board submits a quarterly report on progress regarding the turnaround strategy to the committee.
Our visit to Eskom was to discuss the future of the PBMR. Some of the concerns raised by the committee were the protection of intellectual property, the future of the remaining employees' posts, and the care and maintenance phase and legislation governing the care and maintenance process. The committee recommended that the Minister of Public Enterprises should ensure that there is compliance with relevant legislation and regulations during the care and maintenance process and beyond, and should consider possible partnerships with relevant government departments to use the facilities at PBMR for research and development purposes.
During our visit to Denel some of the concerns that the committee raised were the lack of relationship with the municipality of Bredasdorp, skills transfer and the development and retention strategy, employment equity targets and broader transformation initiatives, and the protection of intellectual property. The committee recommended that the Minister of Public Enterprises should ensure that more funds be allocated for social development programmes, with particular focus on education, and a concerted effort should be made to recruit and train women. The full report was tabled in Parliament on 4 March 2013 and the committee recommends the report for adoption. I thank you.
There was no debate.