Government meddling sets black execs up to fail at SOE 'slaughterhouses' - BMF

accreditation
Black Management Forum president Andile Nomlala (PICS: Supplied)
Black Management Forum president Andile Nomlala (PICS: Supplied)

The Black Management Forum has released a statement urging black professionals not to apply for leadership positions at South Africa’s state-owned entities, saying government interference at these companies was setting black leaders up for failure.

The statement, penned by BMF president Andile Nomlala, said government interference did not allow accounting officers of the country’s beleaguered parastatals a chance to lead them out of their respective quagmires on their own terms.

The statement comes after the resignations of South African Airways group CEO Vuyani Jarana, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe, and Transnet ending the contract of acting group CEO Tau Morwe.

It was Jarana’s four-page resignation letter which gave insights into possible tensions between accounting officers and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan’s new term, as Jarana’s reasons for quitting included restrictive relations with the shareholder representative.

In the statement Nomlala implored black executives not to apply for senior appointments within state-owned companies until the government developed a clear governance framework for these institutions.

"It has come to our attention that other black leaders and executives are on the verge of also submitting their resignation letters due to intolerable levels of political interference and the failure of the government to fully support them and address the capital structures and funding models of their struggling SOCs," Nomlala said.

Nomlala said the BMF would like to have an urgent meeting with the government to address these issues. He said state-owned companies were a long way from the time of independent leadership under the likes of former Nebank chair Reuel Khoza, former Eskom chief Thulani Gcabashe, and Peter Matlare, known for senior roles at Tiger Brands and Absa.

"SOCs have become a slaughterhouse for skilled black leaders and executives whose reputations get tarnished because of factors that are beyond their control," said Nomlala.

Nomlala said government should consider reforms such as streamlining the number of ministers each entity should account to, clearly defining the role of the minister in oversight, facilitating fast decision making, clearer funding models and more opportunity for professionals to lend their expertise to these ailing entities.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.04
-1.4%
Rand - Pound
20.67
-1.3%
Rand - Euro
17.44
-1.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.30
-1.7%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.8%
Gold
1,797.17
+0.2%
Silver
24.08
-0.3%
Palladium
1,961.53
-2.4%
Platinum
1,013.50
-1.8%
Brent Crude
86.40
+0.5%
Top 40
60,874
-0.3%
All Share
67,475
-0.2%
Resource 10
63,082
-0.9%
Industrial 25
87,253
+0.1%
Financial 15
14,054
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research . Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
27% - 355 votes
No, I have deleted it
44% - 588 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 396 votes
Vote