Nafcoc drops axe

2010-09-25 14:17

Allegations of financial mismanagement have been levelled against the leadership of the ­National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) as the small business chamber moves to cut its staff.

Nafcoc Free State secretary-general Dan Mbuli told City Press that the cash-strapped chamber had resorted to retrenching some of the 11 employees at its head office in Johannesburg.

He said personnel who did not want to lose their jobs were given the option of a 50% salary cut.

The retrenchments came after staff received their April, June and August wages late.

Nafcoc’s investment arm had to step in to pay the staff amid ­allegations that the head office had used up the R10 million Nafhold ­had allocated for two years.

Though half of the R10 million was used to acquire 15 double-cabs for Lawrence Mavundla’s leadership when it took over last November, it remained a mystery where the rest of the money had gone.

In a letter circulated to Nafcoc members, Mbuli alleged that money had been misused.

He said the Nafcoc national ­leadership had awarded themselves loans of up to R3 million.

Mavundla declined to comment.

However, a letter by the executive committee hit back, arguing that funds had not been misused.

The letter said the leadership of Mavundla, who used to criticise his predecessor, Buhle Mthethwa, for drawing a salary, resolved in March that they should receive salaries but that hadn’t happened because of “the financial situation”.

“The money that individual members have drawn was drawn against the members’ own shares, and covered the costs of the time and energy that was expended.

“It is wrong to suggest that the committee has taken loans. In fact, the committee is owed salaries post-dated to the date of the March council resolution,” the letter said.

But Mbuli disputed that funds were taken against shares.

“That cannot be true because the shares are held by Nafhold not Nafcoc, and Nafhold has not decided to give any person an advance on their shares,” he said.

Mbuli added that the retrenchments “proved there was serious leadership deficiency, and the chamber’s credibility and integrity have been eroded”.

“It is a grossly unfair labour practice to fire the workers like this, as the funds were not depleted due to an organic problem but a leadership error that resulted in the money being used for what it was not intended for,” he said, adding the time was ripe for regime change.

“We have to apply our minds on the measures we could implement to save the Nafcoc heritage.”

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