DA will not participate in Gordhan’s cover up of the SAA/Takatso deal

Issued by Mimmy Gondwe MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
06 Mar 2024 in News

The DA is disappointed by the decision taken by Parliament’s Legal Services (PLS) wherein they advised that parts of the SAA/Takatso deal should be shielded from public scrutiny. This a significant blow to parliamentary transparency and accountability, further providing cover to Pravin Gordhan’s nefarious attempts to keep a veil of secrecy over the SAA/Takatso deal.

In light of this new development, the DA will not be participating in any further consideration of the SAA/Takatso deal until Parliament opens up such deliberations to the public and releases the SAA/Takatso Share Sale and Purchase Agreement.

Last week, during a meeting of the Portfolio Committee of Public Enterprises, the DA recommended that the Committee obtain legal opinion from Parliament’s Legal Services (PLS) on Gordhan’s unprecedented decision to avail the SAA/Takatso Share Sale and Purchase Agreement to committee members in an in-camera meeting (closed meeting).

Today, PLS chose to override Parliament’s constitutional oversight responsibility by siding with Gordhan and agreeing only to a partial release of the SAA/Takatso deal documents. PLS ignored the fact that Gordhan’s request was highly irregular and infringed on parliamentary authority.

From the onset, the DA has refused to accede to repeated attempts by Gordhan to co-opt Parliament into his long drawn out plan to maintain a veil of secrecy on the SAA/Takatso deal. His dogged determination to shield the terms of the deal from public scrutiny, citing third party confidentiality, is at variance with his legal obligations as a shareholder representative for government at SAA.

SAA is still a Schedule 2 public company under the Public Finance Management Act. The objective purpose of the Act is ‘…to secure transparency, accountability, and sound management of the revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the institutions to which the Act applies’. In addition, the Companies Act of 2013 – under which SAA’s share capital is regulated, has clear disclosure requirements for corporate ownership transparency.

By refusing to disclose the SAA/Takatso Share Sale and Purchase Agreement, Gordhan is violating the provisions of the PFMA and the Companies Act with regards to legislated disclosure requirements.

It is simply unconscionable that after spending R38,1 billion of taxpayers’ money bailing out SAA, with billions more still needed for recapitalisation, Gordhan thinks South Africans do not deserve to know the terms of the deal that SAA entered into with the Takatso Consortium.