If the greying adults displaying shenanigans in state owned enterprise (SOEs) board rooms were actors in a comedy show on one of the public broadcaster’s television channels, SABC 2, tax payers would have found them hilarious.
But managing the chaos they deliberately instigate and consequences of their elementary oversights has been costing government billions of Rands annually. And it’s not that government has got money to burn, with mounting matters of national significance in urgent need of funding.
To say that the newly appointed Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynn Brown, has a problem of a crisis proportions on her hands would not be an overstatement. If there were only one institution haemorrhaging it would been acceptable. But ten of the twenty quasi-government bodies are said to be on a sick bed or in serious need of intervention of some sort.
It’s time to draw the curtain on the country’s most expensive show. Beyond doubt, Brown has to crack the whip in the boardrooms to arrest the rot. It’s high time pride was restored in institutions whose performance should reflect a government committed to good corporate governance and fiscal prudence.