State-owned enterprises are companies in which government owns, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of the shares. Worldwide, states own 10% of the largest companies. In South Africa, state-owned enterprises play a significant role in the important sectors of mining, energy, communications, air and rail transport.
Some state-owned entities loom large over the economy. Eskom, for example, accounts for about 95% of electricity generated in South Africa and is responsible for the transmission and distribution networks. Transnet controls the entire non-passenger rail transport system and the country’s ports and pipelines.