State agencies need stable leaders

Eskom CEO Matshela Koko
Eskom CEO Matshela Koko

Government institutions will continue being dogged by financial uncertainty, low staff morale and negative public perception if they run without permanent leaders.

This was the warning from business experts as at least eight state agencies and parastatals are being steered by executives in "acting" capacities.

"The challenge with acting or temporary positions is that they do not have the same authority or responsibility mind-set.

"There is uncertainty around whether decisions are for the long-term or the short-term," Rhodes Business School head Owen Skae said.

He said the failure by parastatals to retain their permanent group executives in their positions for more than five years raised questions among members of the public.

"Was the best person recruited from the start? . Did the new person uncover something and now they are being forced out, " asked Skae.

" So unless these organisations have stable leaders that are ethical and effective in what they are entrusted to do, then the sustainability of the enterprise will eventually be compromised."

Economist Duma Gqubule said the challenge was that government had not created clear policies to support the executives once they were appointed on a permanent basis.

"If the government has not sorted out the financial, developmental mandate and policy issues, even the best executive will not do well," he said.

"Many executives are hired from the private sector and they do not understand the developmental mandate of the country ," Gqubule said.

"We also need a scientific approach to deployment because to find the people to run them is not a difficult task," he said.

The Ins and Outs of governments top execs

The power utility's head of generation, Matshela Koko, stepped into Molefe's role in an acting capacity. However, in May, Koko had to make way for Molefe, who returned under controversial circumstances. He was later ousted following a public outcry.

Koko has been suspended and faces a disciplinary hearing after he was charged with corruption and nepotism.

Johnny Dladla is now serving as the acting chief executive while Molefe is challenging his dismissal in the Labour Court.

The controversial Ben Ngubane stepped down as the chairman of Eskom last month, two weeks before an annual general meeting in which Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown was expected to axe him.

Ngubane, who was implicated in former public protector Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report, left during calls for parliament to investigate corporate governance breakdown at Eskom and allegations of being captured by the Guptas.

In 2014, Madonsela had found Motsoeneng lied about having a matric, increased salaries of some executives and staff members irregularly, and abused his power.

Magwaza, who had been in the position since November, was replaced by Pearl Bhengu. She is Sassa's regional executive manager in KwaZulu-Natal.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria found him to be unfit or not proper to hold the leadership position due to dishonesty and lack of integrity in a case relating to former Hawks head Anwar Dramat's rendition case.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalalula relieved Ntlemeza of his duties in April.

Hawks deputy national head Yolisa Matakata, who was Ntlemeza's deputy, was made the head on an acting basis.

A board of inquiry recommended an investigation into allegations of misconduct, her fitness to hold office and her capacity to execute official duties efficiently. Her contract expired recently.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate has raised questions about the funding of Phahlane's R8-million Pretoria home and cars worth R4.3-million.

His position is now occupied by Lesetja Mothiba, also on an acting basis.

However, Aguma was suspended in May following allegations of tender irregularities and dishonesty.

Aguma handed over his resignation letter to the chairperson of his disciplinary hearing on Wednesday. Tsheliso Ralitabo has been acting as the group chief financial officer since May.

He had been on suspension following a sexual harassment allegation and was also accused of using company equipment to record colleagues in a bid to obtain evidence to bolster his case. His position was occupied by Nico Bezuidenhout until July last year.

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