NEF denies that Philisiwe Mthethwa is SA's highest paid official

By Drum Digital
13 November 2014

The National Empowerment Fund on Thursday dismissed allegations from the DA that its CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa was probably the highest paid public official in the country.

Acting chairman of NEF's board of trustees Rakesh Garach said claims that Mthethwa had received a 44.75 percent increase, bringing her salary to R5.2 million, were untrue.

He said Mthethwa had received a 10 percent increase in April 2014.

"Therefore on average the CEO of the NEF received an increase of five percent over the past two financial years," Garach said in a statement.

He also dismissed the Democratic Alliance's allegations that Mthethwa had given herself bonuses of more than R2m.

Garach said only the board could give Mthethwa a bonus.

"The board exercises this authority independently, and neither the CEO nor the executives of the NEF possess the operational authority to alter their remuneration or to grant themselves any performance rewards," he said.

He labelled the DA's allegations as disappointing and unfortunate as the NEF was transparent and accountable about the remuneration of its executives and trustees.

Garach said the details about this were published annually in the financial statements of the organisation.

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 black empowerment businesses.

The NEF said Mthethwa was a valued asset and possessed the credentials and leadership skills to serve in her position.

"It is the view of the board that the CEO earns comparatively in line with her peers in the financial services sector and among state-owned commercial enterprises," said Garach.

-SAPA

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