BMIT Report: SA Overview of South African Stated Owned Enterprise (SOEs) 2023

SA Overview of South African Stated Owned Enterprise (SOEs) 2023

In this report, BMIT sets out to identify, simplify and size the landscape of state-owned entities in South Africa, and to estimate the ICT spend potential of SOEs.

SOEs, or public entities, as defined in South Africa, can range from massive corporations, listed on the JSE and international bourses, to small local agencies with a couple of staff members. As the report will show, all must be formally listed according to scheduled categories defined by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

The common denominator is that they are controlled by the state, undertaking their activities under a mandate from government and in accordance with government policies.
Only those SOEs who fall into Schedule 2, or Major Public Entities, have sufficient autonomy to enter into loan agreements or similar transactions under their own auspices.

A few are also categorised as state-owned companies (SOCs), and must comply with regulations of both the Companies Act and the PFMA.

This report clarifies the SOE definitions and gives brief overviews of the players in each grouping. An accompanying Excel worksheet provides a comprehensive list of 519 SOEs, with summarised profiles for the larger SOEs.

Research methodology

This report is based on secondary research on a best-effort basis.
A best-effort attempt has been made to provide the most recent available data. However, a number of SOEs are slow in posting their annual reports online, many lagging by several years. Data given is for 2022/23, but for many SOEs, only FY2021/22 is available, as noted in column G of the accompanying workbook.

BMIT typically estimates the size of the total spend of markets addressed but is unable to size the total ICT spend of the SOE market with a reasonable level of confidence. Where ICT spend information could be ascertained, it is included in the accompanying spreadsheet, but there was insufficient data available to enable a total to be achieved. In addition, given the high level of fiscal and operational uncertainty surrounding many SOEs, modelling was not considered viable.

Most of the ICT data was obtained from annual reports. There is no compunction to supply ICT data in an annual report, so it is frequently not available. Where it is given, secondary research does, obviously, not allow for any clarification of terminology such as ‘Computer expenses’, ‘IT spend’ or ‘Communications’. In some cases, assumptions must be made. Thus, ICT spend data provided in the spreadsheet accompanying this report should be considered indicative rather than exact. Where available, information is given on the future ICT plans as described in the annual performance plans. Tenders awarded or current are also detailed.

Given the high number of SOEs, only those SOEs with a larger scale of operation have been updated, updates having been made on about 205 SOEs.  Further information can be sought on SOEs listed by arrangement.

Table of Content

Outline of the accompanying spreadsheet information

Defining South African SOEs
  • What defines an SOE (state-owned enterprise) in South Africa?
  • Definitions of the types of public entities or SOEs in South Africa
  • National Treasury’s PFMA Schedules classify government entities.
  • Constitutional Institutions are Schedule 1
  • Schedule 2 SOEs
  • SOE changes in 2023
  • How many SOEs are there in South Africa?
  • What SOEs do
  • How government controls its state-owned entities
  • Identifying high-impact SOEs, i.e., those with the greatest impact on service delivery and financial performance
Status of South African State-Owned Entities
  • The State Asset Management SOC Ltd
  • The performance and financial state of SOEs in 2021/22
  • ICT SOCs’ rationalisation programme – background and history
  • Round Table Report on provision and management of ICT in government
  • Round Table Report on ICT in government – findings
  • Round Table Report on ICT in government – recommendations
National State-Owned Entities
  • Schedule 1 SOEs:
    Employment and ICT spend for all 10 of the Constitutional Institutions
  • Schedule 2 SOEs: 21 Major Public Entities and their 47 subsidiaries are identified: Employment, ICT spend and Audit outcomes for the top 10
  • Schedule 3A SOEs: 165 National Public Entities, including subsidiaries, were identified.
    The table below shows Employment, ICT spend and Audit outcomes for the 11 entities which have more than 1,000 employees
  • Schedule 3B SOEs: 19 National Government Business Enterprises & 5 subsidiaries: Employment, ICT spend and Audit outcomes for the top 11
Provincial State-Owned Enterprises
  • Provincial SOEs
  • Schedule 3C SOEs: 54 Provincial Public Entities including subsidiaries.
  • Employment, ICT spend and Audit outcomes for the top 10
  • Schedule 3D SOEs: 28 Provincial Government Business Entities
  • Employment, ICT spend and Audit outcomes for the top 11
Municipal State-Owned Enterprises
  • Municipal SOEs: 56 Municipal Entities
    Employment, ICT spend and Audit outcomes for the top 11
Big Deals in the SOEs in 2021-2023
  • SOE ICT deals over R500m in the past 3 years

Related Research

Research team

The team for this research is Penny Smith, Brian Neilson, Clinton Jacobs and Christopher Geerdts. This team has extensive sector experience in this field, having conducted these studies annually for more than a decade.

Further information

For further information and details on how to subscribe to this research, please contact Anita Mathews |011 540 8000 | 082 466 2317 |