Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

EXECUTIVES from Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would soon visit SA in the second phase of SA’s fact-finding mission on managing parastatals, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Ramaphosa heaped praise on China’s management of SOEs and the economy in a question and answer session.

SA could learn from China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, which runs some of the largest companies in the world.

"The management of China’s SOEs is done through one central body, which manages 117 companies. It is so well structured to manage even companies which are listed on the stock exchange in New York. They have a process of looking at business plans that we can learn from," Mr Ramaphosa said.

His remarks came a day after President Jacob Zuma’s defence of SA’s poor economic performance. On the same day Eskom revealed weakened generation performance in its results presentation.

Mr Zuma has briefed Mr Ramaphosa to work with Eskom, the South African Post Office, South African Airways and the South African National Roads Agency in finding solutions to their challenges.

The deputy president led a delegation to China last month.

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh asked Mr Ramaphosa how the Chinese government viewed the sale of nonstrategic assets to generate capital that could be directed to priority projects.

Mr Ramaphosa said through the commission the Chinese government could explore many options other than selling assets to optimise their value, including finding investment partners for growth and development. But the commission insisted on government retaining control, he said.

Democratic Alliance MP Natasha Mazzone said SA’s SOEs failed to demonstrate the political will to dismiss compromised and nonperforming executives without "golden handshakes".

Mr Ramaphosa said parastatals abided by high standards of delivery but that individuals needed to be held accountable in terms of their targets.

Most of the more than 700 state-owned enterprises in SA were "doing very well".

"Some are even able to pay a dividend to the fiscus."