State-Owned Enterprises Communicators Association taking SOEs forward
The State-Owned Enterprises Communicators Association (SOECA) was recently launched at a gala event held at offices of the Development Bank of South Africa in Johannesburg. The Association was formed following a Presidential Review Committee report on state-owned enterprises in the country recommended that a forum be established to further develop and strengthen the work of state-owned enterprises.
Congress Mahlangu from the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of SA, was elected as the president of the association while Milisa Kentane from SA Forestry Company Limited is his Deputy and SANRAL’s Vusi Mona been elected as the general secretary.
Guest speakers at the launch included the CEO of the Road Accident Fund Dr Eugene Watson, as well as the Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi. Muthambi, who used the opportunity to laud the creation of SOECA.
In her speech, the Minister stated that it was very gratifying to be part of the launch of such a strategic body in the government communications space, adding that state-owned entities played a critical role in society. She said the importance of these government bodies in the developmental aspirations of government was reaffirmed by President Jacob Zuma when he in 2010 established a Presidential Review Committee on SOEs.
She stated: “As a developmental state, South Africa needs to maintain its strategic role in shaping key sectors of the economy in order to stimulate much-needed economic growth. This means the role of state-owned enterprises and agencies in advancing the country’s overarching industrial policy and economic transformation objectives becomes critical. They can be strategically used to further economic growth and development, thereby creating significant number of jobs, reducing poverty levels, reducing inequality, developing key skills required by the South African economy, improving the health of the citizens, and reducing crime and corruption. These are all key building blocks of a strong, developing economy and one that has the potential to benefit all citizens and stakeholders.
“In a time of continuing global market turmoil, the time has never been better for the creation of an association of state-owned enterprise communicators. It will help the country in its efforts to drive greater stakeholder engagement, both at home and abroad. Strategic communication around important issues of growth and development, and the role of the country’s state-owned enterprises in creating the unique differentiators that can position South Africa as a globally competitive nation, have never been more important. The time has never been better for all of you, as passionate and loyal South African communications specialists, to play your part in helping to write the next exciting chapter in the country’s developmental history.”
In her closing remarks, Muthambi said that state-owned enterprise communicators, needed to work closely with the various line government departments in ensuring a new era of stakeholder engagement was embarked upon in the country. “We encourage you to work closely with the Department of Communications itself, and to participate in the current communications policy review that is underway, including making inputs to the work of the National Communications Task Team,” Muthambi concluded.