Cabinet reappoints Necsa CEO after nuclear boss wins court battle

Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane.
Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane.

Cape Town – Phumzile Tshelane, CEO of state-owned nuclear firm Necsa, was given a new three-year contract after Cabinet approved his reappointment this week, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe announced on Friday.

Tshelane has been on a month-to-month contract for the past year due to a difference of opinion with the previous board in 2015, Necsa told Fin24 in a statement.  “A totally new board was appointed in March 2016.”

The appointment comes after Necsa won a Constitutional Court case last week against former board members, who alleged Tshelane sanctioned a R150 000 payment from Necsa towards the ANC’s 103rd birthday celebrations in Cape Town in 2015 and then tried to get board approval afterwards. Other allegations were that he used a company luxury car and driver for private purposes, the Mail & Guardian reported at the time.

However, Necsa chairperson Kelvin Kemm told Fin24 on Friday that the Concourt had ruled in Necsa’s favour last week, finally closing the matter. “He is now cleared of all the matters entirely,” he said. “Necsa won with costs against the plaintiffs.”

Necsa was also in the spotlight for not producing an annual financial statement in 2015, as it had a disagreement with the auditor general about financial provisions for nuclear decommissioning.

However, with the new board appointed in 2016 with Kemm the new chairperson, Necsa resolved this and tabled its report.

With a new board, the tabling of its financial report, the court challenge resolved and now the reappointment of Tshelane in 2016, Necsa has managed to overcome many challenges this year as it gears up to be a major player in the proposed nuclear new build programme.

“I am really pleased that Cabinet has endorsed our recommendation,” said Kemm.  “Mr Tshelane, a nuclear physicist, has had many years of experience in the nuclear field and also in the wider electricity landscape.  

“He has also demonstrated superior management skills in a complex environment. My board is confident in its selection of Mr Tshelane to serve an additional three years as CEO of Necsa.

“As the second largest market shareholder in the world for nuclear medicine, which we export to over 60 countries, our international dealings are extremely important. We are also expanding nuclear technology exports and mutual technology developments with a number of countries.  

“Mr Tshelane already has extensive international experience in the field and his business perspective and international reach is well respected in many countries. The Necsa board considers this to be most important.

“With the international expansion currently taking place in nuclear development, Necsa is positioning itself to take advantage of both the domestic and international business opportunities which are evident.  

“The Necsa remuneration structure, across the board, is being adjusted to reflect the importance of every member of staff having a personal focus on financial profitability.”

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