Chairperson, the committee considered the annual report of the Department of Public Enterprises together with eight other annual reports of the state-owned companies under its jurisdiction. The report was considered in the light of the department's strategic plan, which has the vision of providing strategic direction to state-owned companies so that their businesses are aligned with the national growth strategies arising out of the New Growth Path. This is in recognition of state-owned companies as strategic instruments of industrial policy and core players in government's policy objectives.
In considering the department's annual report, we paid particular attention to the infrastructure programme that the department oversees, spearheaded by our two state-owned companies, namely Eskom and Transnet, whose expenditure is estimated at no less than R800 billion.
As we considered the annual report of the department, we focused more on government's policy objectives, such as job creation, skills development and employment equity, and on how state-owned companies work in their procurement processes to assist in the promotion of local industries through the supply chain industry. We were pleased with the performance of the department. However, we believe that if the department can be given additional resources to do its oversight work, we could see even better results.
More jobs are being created by the massive infrastructure programme undertaken by the two state-owned companies, that is, Eskom and Transnet. As the committee, we continue to monitor and oversee the skills development initiatives created by the aforementioned state-owned companies in meeting government's policy objectives.
Other areas of focus that the committee looked at in considering the report include the role of state-owned companies in realising the objectives of the New Growth Plan, Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 and partnerships between the state, business, organised labour and civil society for the realisation of the developmental state's agenda. We also considered procurement policies designed to address the interests of small and medium businesses, especially co-operatives, to do business with state-owned companies, with an emphasis on local content; the creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods through public investment and more labour- absorbing activities; Safco's role in developing rural communities; a need to address the financial challenges facing Denel Aerostructures; challenges facing South African Express - the entity's financial challenges, that is - and accessible and affordable broadband services to underdeveloped or underserviced areas through the state-owned Broadband Infraco.
In adopting this report, we would also like to congratulate the Department of Public Enterprises, under the sterling leadership of Minister Gigaba, the Director-General, Mr Tshediso Matona, and his managerial team and staff for the clean audit reports of the past seven years. This is a commendable performance and we say to the department, continue to do what you do best and remain a good example of a well-run government department.
In conclusion, this morning, in our portfolio committee meeting, the committee noted that since "Gratitude" has just joined "Knowledge" in this department, we think we can expect much greater things to happen. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, the Deputy Minister is Gratitude Magwanishe and our Minister is Knowledge Gigaba. [Laughter.] [Applause.] There was no debate.