Philisiwe Mthethwa. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON/BUSINESS DAY
Philisiwe Mthethwa. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON/BUSINESS DAY

The board of trustees of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) is disappointed by the misrepresentation of facts in a media statement issued by the DA alleging that CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa “is most likely SA’s highest-paid civil servant”.

The CEO is most definitely not the highest-paid public official. It is the view of the board that the CEO earns comparatively in line with her peers in the financial services sector and among state-owned commercial enterprises. We are confident the annual reports of the various institutions will corroborate this assertion.

The NEF maintains a compensation and remuneration system that provides for the remuneration of employees on a scale comparable to those paid for similar positions in the industry. In accordance with standard industry practice, the NEF remunerates high-performing employees between the 50th and 75th percentiles to retain individuals who are highly sought-after in the financial services sector. The CEO is remunerated at the 50th percentile.

Mthethwa has been at the helm of the organisation for the past 14 years and during this time the NEF has accomplished several operational milestones. 

In addition to a string of local and international awards, the CEO was recently crowned CEO of the Decade by the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals, attesting to industry acknowledgment for her sterling expertise and leadership credentials.

The board applauds her efforts, in partnership with trustees and other executives, to secure recapitalisation and third-party funding for the NEF, which last received funding from the fiscus in 2010.

When the CEO was appointed to her portfolio, the NEF had approved only 16 transactions worth R35m. The NEF has subsequently succeeded in unlocking R8.8bn in third-party funding from the private and public sectors for the benefit of black entrepreneurs.

We are satisfied that the fund will continue to be a beacon of good corporate governance and operational excellence.

Rakesh Garach
Chair of the NEF board of trustees

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