DA queries Philisiwe Mthethwa’s R5.2m package

2014-11-13 12:40

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With a package of more than R5.2 million last year, National Empowerment Fund head Philisiwe Mthethwa may well be South Africa’s highest-paid public official, the Democratic Alliance has said.

Her total financial package, including salary and more than R2 million in bonuses, totalled R5 208 143 for the 2013-2014 financial year, Democratic Alliance MP Dean Macpherson said today.

Mthethwa is the wife of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

The NEF is an agency reporting to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. Its primary task is to provide support, including financial support, to so-called black empowerment businesses.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, Davies revealed that Mthethwa’s salary was R3 505 234 a year.

Macpherson said this was a R1 083 722 or 44.75% increase since last year, “despite the fact that the NEF hasn’t been able to fulfil its mandate”.

In May last year, due to serious financial constraints, the NEF board was forced to impose a moratorium on all new funding applications, leaving no money available to help new entrepreneurs. The moratorium was lifted only in May this year.

“The moratorium did not stop Mthethwa rewarding herself with bonuses, with the NEF’s 2013-2014 annual report revealing that [she] was awarded an amount of R1 593 288 titled ‘bonuses and performance payments’, and R637 315, which was a ‘long-term bonus payment’,” Macpherson said.

This was over and above her basic annual salary for that year.

“Mthethwa’s total financial package for the 2013-2014 financial year was therefore R5 208 143.”

Macpherson said the question remained why – if the NEF was subject to a moratorium for an entire year, rendering it unable to fulfil its core function – its chief executive was rewarded with more than R2 million in bonuses and a R1 million salary increase.

“The NEF should be focusing all of its attention on helping new black-owned businesses to thrive and create jobs. Rewarding a failing chief executive with massive payouts is exactly what it should not be doing.

“It is well known that Ms Mthethwa is a well-connected ANC deployee, showing yet again how the ANC is prepared to reward its cronies at the expense of ordinary South Africans.”

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