KZN public entity bosses pocketing R52million annually

By Ann McDonnell, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA):

THE DA has established that the CEO’s, Chairpersons, Deputy Chairs and Board members of KZN’s 12 public entities pocketed a massive R52million during the 2014/25 financial year.

Apart from two public entities, the figures do not include bonuses, 13th cheques or any other “performance based” remuneration.

The information is contained in a May parliamentary reply by KZN EDTEA MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu, to questions posed by the DA around the province’s public entities which include Ithala Development Bank, the Sharks Board and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife,

According to the reply;

–          The 12 CEO’s were paid  a total of R24million for annual fees, cell phone and S & T allowances

–          Board chairpersons received payments totalling R10million

–          Deputy chairs received just over R2million and

–          Board members of the various entities received payments totalling R15million.

The same reply also shows that six CEO’s are currently earning in excess of R2million annually.  They are;

–          Ithala Development’s CEO                                           R3 247 560

–          Dube Trade Port’s CEO                                                 R2 488 608

–          KZN Sharks Board’s CEO                                                                R2 398 165

–          Richards Bay IDZ’s CEO                                                 R2 332 000

–          KZN Growth Fund’s CEO                                                               R2 296 887

–          KZN’s Trade and Investment CEO                             R2 135 330

The DA regards these figures as completely excessive, particularly in a province which faces so many challenges.  At the very heart of these are funding shortages especially in the education and health sectors.

Despite a rapidly declining growth rate, the province’s EDTEA department continues to spend excessive amounts on expensive senior personnel and board members.  Equally alarming is the fact that the mandates of most entities are a duplication of the functions of existing provincial government departments.

The DA has long called for a review of the current structures in order to free up funds which could be put to far better use creating opportunities for young entrepreneurs to be financed and mentored.

This is the true economic freedom our province so urgently needs.

The reply further confirms that the Chairperson of the Moses Kotane Institute is being paid a massive R4 898million per year while another high-flyer is the Chairperson of Ithala, who earns R2 689 334million per annum.

Remuneration of Deputy Chairs ranges from R472 000 – with Dube Trade Port taking this dubious honour – to R161 000 for the KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife.  Regrettably, the wildlife entity features largely when it comes to board members’ annual fees, with a figure of R5 961million.

According to research conducted by the DA, R52million could have paid for;

–          325 houses

–          130 classrooms or

–          7kms of well-engineered, quality road

In the DA-led Western Cape there are only three public entities under Economic development and Tourism.  They are;

–              The Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency

–              The Western Cape Liquor board

–              The Western Cape Tourism board and

According to the last available information, they cost taxpayers in that province R2.9million during the 2012/13 financial year.

This figure is in stark contrast to that of KZN.

The big question is – are KZN’s public entities providing taxpayers with value for money?

The DA believes that the short answer is no.

The fact that the KZN Treasury, under MEC Belinda Scott, is currently probing ‘value for money’ across various departments suggests that there are legitimate concerns around this issue.

The DA suggests that the MEC instruct Treasury to start with public entities.