‘We will never apologise’ to Pravin Gordhan, says ANC Youth League

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'We will never apologise' to Pravin Gordhan, says ANC Youth League
'We will never apologise' to Pravin Gordhan, says ANC Youth League

Africa-Press – South-Africa. The ANC Youth League “will never” apologise to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, says secretary-general Mntuwoxolo Ngudle.

Ngudle told News24 that the league believed Gordhan was asking it to abandon its political views on strengthening and not weakening state-owned enterprises.

“No, we will never apologise. The ANC Youth League will never apologise for its views around state-owned entities. It is our position as a structure, and we are saying there must be no sale of state-owned entities,” he said on Tuesday.

On Monday, Gordhan issued a statement demanding that league president Collen Malatji apologise for accusing him of being intent on selling off state-owned enterprises. Malatji told The Citizen that Gordhan was obsessed with selling everything, just days after the finalisation of Eskom’s unbundling process was announced.

Gordhan said the comments were incorrect and a deliberate attempt to misinform the public on the strategic changes taking place at Eskom, with the unbundling of the company’s strategic entities.

The minister said the process of unbundling Eskom did not equate to selling off its parts to the private sector. He said the power utility would remain owned by the government, despite efforts to claim otherwise.

“The latest misinformation is further evidence that a concerted campaign involves people with a vested interest who only care about lining their pockets and are intent on sowing confusion. The campaign of misinformation, just like those before it, will fail,” he said.

“Our focus is on executing our mandate to ensure that SOCs deliver on key national strategic objectives, including transforming and revitalising our economy against all odds.”

According to the statement, Gordhan would be meeting with the Youth League.

When Ngudle was asked why he believed that Eskom would be privatised, he cited state-owned airline South African Airways, which buckled under financial strain for years.

He told News24 that the league was concerned about the privatisation of state entities, and even though Eskom remained public, there should be no future ambition to bolster it by bringing in a private equity partner.

“The issue of Eskom is the sale of transmission into another state-owned entity. We are saying we do not want a back-door introduction of an equity partner… We do not mind unbundling Eskom for the sake of efficiency, and that is what we support, but that situation should not lead to the introduction of private players. We will never apologise for that because we have seen people sell SAA in front of our eyes,” Ngudle said.

The league was also “agitated” by developments at Transnet, Ngudle said.

“That is why we are saying we are not going to accept this thing of wholesale of state-owned enterprises,” he added.

The ANCYL president has been a controversial figure since its conference in July.

Malatji has led political attacks on ANC leaders, with Thulas Nxesi also facing the league’s wrath for not creating jobs.

The ANCYL president, speaking at a gathering of the league, said Nxesi was a “minister of unemployment”. Nxesi is the minister of employment and labour.

Last week, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula somewhat defended the league at a press briefing, saying its leaders’ comments were a necessary irritation for the ANC.

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