The Parkview Post Office in Johannesburg. Picture: THE TIMES
The Parkview Post Office in Johannesburg. Picture: THE TIMES

The loss making and cash-strapped SA Post Office, which has had a string of CEOs since the August 2019 departure of Mark Barnes, now has Nomkhita Mona at its helm.

Her appointment was announced at a post-cabinet media briefing on Friday by minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

Mona has previously served as CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber as well as group CEO of state-owned forestry company Safcol.

Other positions she has held include CEO of The Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative (UDDI), CEO of Inkezo Land Company in Durban and CEO of the Eastern Cape Tourism Board.

Mona’s appointment follows a turbulent few years at the loss-making Sapo, which has been plagued by acute management and financial problems. Acting CEO Lindiwe Kwele was suspended in December 2019, four months after the departure of Barnes, on the basis of whistle-blower allegations of conflicts of interest and the irregular extensions of contracts, but her suspension was found to be procedurally unfair in October 2020 in an arbitration process. However, the Sapo board said it would continue with an internal disciplinary process.

Ivumile Nongogo replaced Kwele as acting CEO when she was suspended but he stepped down after the Post Office board decided to institute disciplinary charges against him for concluding an agreement with the SA Social Security Agency to distribute the temporary Covid-19 R350 relief grant, without consulting the board.

Reneilwe Langa, seconded from the department of communications and digital technologies, was then appointed acting CEO, and will now be replaced by Mona.

Appointments

Cabinet also approved the publication of the SA Post Bank Amendment Bill for public comment. This will create a separate holding company for the bank taking forward the steps to establish the bank as an independent entity. The aim of establishing the bank — which has not yet obtained a fully fledged banking licence to grant loans — is to promote financial inclusion and to provide financial services to the state.

Also announced by Ntshavheni was the appointment of Zolani Matthews as the group CEO of the equally troubled Passenger Rail Agency of SA to replace acting CEO Thandeka Mabiya who took up the position in October 2020. Thembi Msibi and Nomonde Mabuya have been appointed as chair and vice-chair of the Road Accident Fund respectively.

The cabinet has adopted a number of bills including the Land Court Bill, the Gas Amendment Bill and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Bill.

The Land Court Bill will establish a specialist land court with its own judges to deal with land claims to address the long delays and backlog of cases in the land court, which was established in 1996 to deal with land restitution and claims.

The Gas Amendment Bill, which was previously released for public comment and has been long in the making, will now be sent to parliament. It seeks to align the gas industry to new transportation technologies for natural and unconventional gases that are not catered for in the current Gas Act of 2001. “The amendments, which have been fully consulted with all the relevant stakeholders will contribute to ongoing investment in infrastructure to ensure diversity of the country’s energy mix,” Ntshavheni said.

Minister of mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe said last year that the draft bill aims to, among others, attract infrastructure investment for liquefied natural gas imports; increase exploration; create domestic gas feedstock; diversify the energy mix and reduce carbon emissions.

Cabinet has also approved the revised white paper on national transport policy dealing with the changes in the road, rail, maritime and aviation transport that have taken place since the previous white paper was adopted in 1996. Ntshavheni said the policy had undergone wide consultation with all the relevant stakeholders and would align SA’s transport system with international, regional and continental transportation trends.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za

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