New man at helm of provincial financer

2010-01-16 14:12

THE Eastern Cape MEC for finance and economic development Mcebisi

Jonas has appointed Oyama Mabandla as the new chairperson of developmental

financer Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC).

This position is being filled for the second time in six months

after Bheki Sibiya quietly jumped ship just before Christmas.

Mabandla, who was appointed on Friday, is currently non-executive

chairperson of cellular phone network operator Vodacom.

Sibiya’s departure comes barely four months after the corporation

opted not to renew the contract of its successful former chief executive Mxolisi

Matshamba.

Former finance and economic development MEC Phumulo Masualle had

fired the previous board and its chairperson, paving the way for the appointment

of Sibiya’s board.

Sibiya said he resigned his position because he had too much on his

plate as he had been appointed head of the Wits Business School in

December.

“I realised the load was too heavy. I am now history to the ECDC.

It was a good experience while it lasted, but I have moved on,” he said.

Sibiya also serves on the boards of a number of companies,

including restaurant and eatery operator ­Famous Brands as a non-executive

­director, cement maker Pretoria Portland Cement as a non-executive chairperson

and as deputy chairperson of food producer Tiger Brands.

He said it would have been difficult for him to travel on a regular

basis to East London from Johannesburg.

However, an ECDC board member who declined to be named, said Sibiya

had had some differences with the board and this may have contributed to him

leaving the corporation.

“There were many points of variance between him and the board.

There was also unhappiness about the manner in which he handled the Matshamba

issue,” the board member said.

Matshamba, who had built a reputation for being tough on corruption

and poor corporate governance, was in the middle of implementing his turnaround

strategy when the ECDC board, under Sibiya’s stewardship, refused to extend his

contract for ­another three years.

This was despite Matshamba extending more funding to Eastern Cape’s

small and medium-sized businesses and presiding over the corporation’s three

clean audits since he took over its reins in November 2006.

The official reason for Matshamba’s sacking was that he lacked the

skills to execute a new ECDC mandate. Sibiya has left the corporation without

clarifying the new mandate or appointing a chief executive to ­implement it.

ECDC’s chief financial officer Msulwa Daca is currently the

lender’s acting chief executive.

But Sibiya denied that he left the ECDC because he did not see

eye-to-eye with his board.

“I am not going to entertain cowardly board members who are not

willing to be frank during board meetings, but peddle rumours in corridors and

in the media,” he said.


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