Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has in a statement emphasised his responsibility to apply the law and policies that govern the way he dispenses his oversight of State Owned Companies (SOCs) as the government shareholder representative.
This in relation to the Pretoria High Court’s decision ordering that the Minister decide on the sale of South African Airways (SAA) subsidiary, Mango Airlines, within 30 days as proposed by the business rescue practitioner.
Gordhan said he is studying the judgement and will proceed on the basis of legal advice he receives on the matter.
“My duty as the executive authority is to safeguard the interests of South Africans. At no point will I abandon my fiduciary responsibility to ensure that any decision that is taken regarding the future of Mango is consistent with the prescripts of the law and is in the best interest of the public.
“The issues around this case evolve around my request for further information from the business rescue practitioner. This is what the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) requires in order to make a judiciously sound decision. I will not be bullied to act in a manner that will compromise the work of government in this regard.
“While we respect the decision of the Court, the department will ensure that we follow all the prescripts of the law in terms of how we execute on our responsibility to put all our SOCs on a stable footing,” Minister Gordhan added.
According to the department, Gordhan requested the following information from the business rescue practitioner to “enable him to make the decision on the PFMA Section 54 (2) application”:
Detailed business plan to assess the consortium’s viability.
Comprehensive due diligence.
Foreign ownership details to comply with South African laws.
“Despite several requests, the Minister was not furnished with the requested information. The Minister cannot make a decision based on insufficient information,” the department said.
Source: South African Government News Agency