Nafcoc axes top executives as cash crisis bites

2011-02-19 11:59

A cash-flow crisis at the National Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) appears to be worsening, with the small business organisation having to retrench four of its most senior employees.

The employment contracts of acting chief ­executive Vukile ­Nkabinde, ­finance manager Sizakele Makhoba, membership manager Thuto Mkhize and ­media liaison manager Tumi Rhubusana were terminated last month when they refused to have their salaries and working hours halved.

Nafcoc deputy general secretary Kentse ­Makgae sent letters of termination of contract, which City Press has seen, to the four on ­January 4.

“As the result of your refusal to agree to 50% salary reduction during the consultation process, as an alternative step to avoid retrenchment, the ­organisation is left with no choice but to retrench you,” wrote Makgae.

She said in the letter the four would serve notice from January 4 to January 31 but would have to vacate Nafcoc’s premises on January 5 “and serve the remainder of notice period at home”.

She said they would be offered their jobs back should the organisation’s finances improve.

One of the retrenched, who asked to remain anonymous, said that during the consultation process they had presented plans to the Nafcoc council to help turn the organisation’s fortunes around.

“These letters of retrenchment show that our turnaround strategy was ignored,” said the source.

Their retrenchment comes seven months ­after Nafcoc parted ways with its chief executive, Robert Mhlambi.

Mkhize joined Nafcoc in 2009 from his position as a project co-ordinator at the Franchise Association of South Africa.

Nkabinde was the chief executive of the African Co-Operative for Hawkers and Informal Businesses, the brainchild of Nafcoc president Lawrence Mavundla, before he joined Nafcoc.

Over the past year Nafcoc has been embroiled in allegations of financial mismanagement and its investment arm, Nafhold, turned down a ­request for funds because Nafcoc executives could not ­account for how they had spent an allocation of R10 million they received from the firm. Nafhold had been providing most of ­Nafcoc’s running costs.

This week Makgae referred questions to Nafcoc’s deputy president, Sinyosi Sikhosana.

Sikhosana declined to comment, saying: “Where did you get that information?

“Anyway, it does not matter who your source is as Nafcoc does not talk about staff retrenchments in the media.”

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