Chamber of mines not happy after axing of parastatals chairs

2011-06-10 08:02

The Chamber of Mines – which normally does not comment on issues not directly linked to mining – said it was “deeply concerned” about the manner in which the public enterprises department intented to remove chairpersons of three parastatals.

The chamber’s chief executive Bheki Sibiya said he was baffled by media reports stating that the public enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba intends to remove the chairmen of state’s logistics group Transnet, power supplier Eskom and arsenal Denel.

“The Chamber of Mines and its members were fully cognisant of the fact that the matter to remove the chairpersons was an internal one between the shareholders of the two state-owned enterprises and their officials,” said Sibiya in a statement yesterday.

“However, it would be a dereliction of duty on our part, as major stakeholders in these organisations, to remain silent on the issue given its potential impact on our industry,” said Sibiya.

He said the stability and efficiencies of Transnet and Eskom were critical in ensuring a competitive and growing mining industry which is vital in improving the economy.

Sibiya praised current Transnet chairperson Mafika Mkwanazi and his fellow board member Don Mkhwanazi, and Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana for a sterling job.

“During the short period in which Mr Mafika, Mr Mkhwanazi and Mr Makwana occupied their strategic positions, they managed to bring stability to their respective organisations which seemed to be in turbulence,” he said.

“We therefore do not understand the logic behind their removal from office,” said Sibiya.

“While Denel has little or no impact on the mining industry, the principle of stability remains the same.”

He said the chamber’s concerns should not be misconstrued as undermining the skills, competence, experience, expertise and the personal attributes of the incoming chairpersons.

Sibiya said the chamber would approach Gigaba to try and understand the logic behind the developments.

“Effective leadership is critical to mining and the economy as a whole, given the role it plays as both supplier and customer to Eskom and as a customer of Transnet. We are deeply concerned,” he said.

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