Tourism boss resigns

2011-08-23 14:08

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) boss Charles Ndabeni has finally resigned following many months of conflict with workers that culminated in a two-week strike which shut down tourism facilities early this month.

The MTPA chief executive’s resignation on August 19 was announced by provincial department of economic development environment and tourism (Dedet) MEC Norman Mokoena today.

Five MTPA board members, including chairperson Sabelo Mahlalela, also resigned from the parastatal, which is responsible for marketing and promoting the province’s tourism potential, as well as management of 23 nature reserves and world-renowned attractions.

Neither Ndabeni nor Mahlalela were immediately available for comment.

Mokoena said: “On behalf of the Executive Council and people of Mpumalanga, I offer you heartfelt thanks for your contributions individually and collectively.”

The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) has been calling for Ndabeni’s axing after accusing him of being extravagant and bringing the institution to collapse following MTPA’s failure to pay salaries on time, electricity, telephone and other bills.

Ndabeni has been blaming the financial troubles on under-funding by Dedet.

For example, he said, Dedet allocated MTPA R230 million instead of R415 million that would enable it to run effectively in the current financial year.

Therefore, MTPA owes R20 million to service providers and is short of R203 million to market the province and maintain infrastructure in protected areas.

Nehawu intensified its campaign three months ago by telling 400 game rangers to work eight hours a day after MTPA failed to provide them with food rations and water as it owed service providers more about R500 000.

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