WASHINGTON DC– South African Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has expressed confidence that the country will begin to see proper investigations and prosecutions into allegations of corruption at State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

He was speaking in an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) over the weekend in Washington, where he had been engaging the leadership of the World Bank on global best practices in the monitoring and management of State-owned entities.

Gordhan said radical surgery was required to ensure that the 13.5 five billion Rand (about1.12 billion US dollars) debt which various municipalities owed to power utility Eskom debt was paid.

Gordhan said South Africa was not seeking for new loans. He had confirmed that the World Bank’s 2010 loan of 3.75 billion USD to Eskom would not be withdrawn, and agreed that radical action was needed to deal with the outstanding municipal debts.

There’s two issues one is the political management of municipalities, which I think a lot more interventionist approach needs to be taken to sort out the politics, so that you get the right management of the finances in a municipality, and the right kind of political decisions that are actually made,” he added.

“The second issue, which is something we need to look at a lot harder, is the culture of payment in our country, because if citizens believe that they don’t have to pay for anything, then no municipality can collect anything, nor can they pay their debts.

As the rehabilitation of SOEs continues across the board, he believes agents of corruption will have to answer for their crimes soon.

I’m sure we’re going to get to the point very soon where effective investigations happen, evidence is compiled properly, people are taken to court an a team of prosecutors do what they’re supposed to actually do,” he added.

“I think that’s what the public expects at the end of the day, that those who have been guilty in relation to some of these activities need to pay some kind of price because they’ve actually set us back a few years.

Gordhan also indicated it would take between 6 to 9 months to stabilise most of the SOEs under his supervision.