African National Congress (ANC) head of economic transformation Enoch Godongwana says the party could privatise a particular state-owned enterprise (SOE) if evidence suggests that it’s the only viable option.
Godongwana made the comment during an interview with Sakina Kamwendo on SABC News on Thursday morning.
He said, “The ANC policy is quite clear on these issues. We’re not religious about privatisation or nationalisation.”
‘Balance of evidence’
Godongwana continued, “As stated as early in 1992, the ANC policy says, whether to nationalise or to privatise, we must not be guided by emotions, but we must be guided by balance of evidence. In other words, we are an organisation that is led by evidence.”
When Kamwendo pushed him to state categorically if the policy is not for privatisation, Godongwana insisted that this is not the case.
“If any minister comes to us and says, here is the evidence, in respect of this particular entity, [that] there’s no option, the evidence suggests that we should privatise, we will,” he explained.
Godongwana’s position seemingly contradicts what ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said at a media briefing on Wednesday on the outcomes of last weekend’s ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
‘We’re not going to privatise any SOE’
Magashule said putting the South African Airways (SAA) into business rescue is not privatisation.
He said, “It is not privatisation. We are not going to privatise any state-owned entity. But we’ve said as the ANC that we have policy positions and what we need to be doing is to be guided by those policy conference decisions.”
ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete also added, “We are not going to privatise anything. We have policy positions; what we need to be doing at all times will be guided by policy conference decisions.”
Kamwendo pressed Godongwana on whether this means that the ANC is divided on this particular matter or not.
He replied, “The ANC, as I understand it, there may be divisions in the run-up to a conference on policy positions.
“Once a policy position has been adopted, everyone has got to rally behind that policy position. As far as I’m concerned, the policy position of the ANC is as is since 1992. It has not changed.
When pressed further, Godongwana added, “I’m telling you the policy position, which you can go and Google, [which is] the stated policy position in the “Ready to Govern” document since 1992. It doesn’t say, no privatisation or no nationalisation. That’s a stated position of the ANC.”
To watch the full interview on YouTube, click here.