Cadre deployment to parastatal boards is acceptable if the individuals concerned are skilled for the position, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has said.
“I wouldn’t apologise for deploying a cadre into a board, providing the cadre has the relevant and requisite experience and expertise to deliver on the mandate,” he said at a Cape Town Press Club breakfast today.
“At the end of the day, Gill Marcus is a cadre. She has the requisite skills to run the (SA) Reserve Bank. (Former Reserve Bank governor) Tito (Mboweni) was a cadre. I would worry if someone suggested that Malusi must become the governor of the Reserve Bank. Then I would say cadre deployment would be wrong.”
Gigaba acknowledged that deploying loyal ANC and alliance members had gone wrong in many instances.
This could be avoided in future by adopting a “scientific and systematic approach” to the composition of such boards.
The department published an advert last year for people to submit their details if they were interested on serving on these boards.
Gigaba said numerous suitably skilled individuals across the country were now on a database for future reference.
The department had taken a decision to reaffirm the policy of not allowing a person to serve on one board for more than two terms of three years each, except in exceptional circumstances.
“(By serving for too long), the danger then arises (that) you become captured. As a non-executive director, you become inseparable from management. You begin to confuse your roles and responsibilities.”
Gigaba assured of the future stability of parastatal boards.
“We have tried to create and lay a firm basis for stability on the boards so that we don’t have massive turnovers, and we assess the boards every year,” he said.
The boards were independently audited annually to review not only the collective strength of the boards, but also individual performances.
“Going towards the annual general meetings this year, there will be some rotations on the boards, based on people whose time has lapsed, some whose skills might have become redundant, and therefore we need to strengthen the boards in some way.”