At least R25m paid to Philisiwe Mthethwa over past 7 years - Dean Macpherson

DA MP questions why the NEF CEO received such massive remuneration, even as she presided over financial collapse of entity

Philisiwe Mthethwa: The R25 million CEO

03 December 2014

According to the National Empowerment Fund's Annual Reports, Philisiwe Mthethwa has earned R25 097 989 since her appointment as the fund's CEO in 2005, which includes R9 778 751 in bonuses.  

Making matters worse, is that the R25 million figure is incomplete, as it does not include Mthethwa's package for the 2007 financial year. This information has been hidden by the Department of Trade and Industry for unknown reasons and we are currently trying to get the information. 

We therefore know that Mrs Mthethwa earned at least R3 585 427 per year for the seven years excluding 2007. This is significantly in excess of what South Africa's presidents have earned since then, and cannot possibly be justified given the relative size of the entity she manages.

We must also ask why it is that Mrs Mthethwa has received such enormous remuneration, when she has presided over the financial collapse of the entity. The NEF was unable to discharge its mandate from May 2013 to May 2014, not being able to fund any new applications due to severe financial constraints.

I will therefore write to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, requesting that he explain the omission of the 2007 audit report. The 2007 financial documents must be made available immediately. 

The omission of the financial statements, which include the CEO's salary breakdown, raises serious questions as to transparency and accountability of both the NEF and its CEO Philisiwe Mthethwa, who is herself no stranger to controversy. 

In 2013 she was put on put on special leave during an investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption against her. Among the allegations was a R9.8 million loan granted to her brother, Nkanyiso Buthelezi, which was not paid back.

It is becoming evident that the NEF functions as nothing more than a get rich quick pit stop for a well-connected few, with Mrs Mthethwa leading the charge at the expense of budding black entrepreneurs who are unable to obtain affordable financing. The NEF should be focusing on helping young, black entrepreneurs with good ideas. It should not be abused to enrich Mrs Mthethwa or her friends or family. 

The DA has always supported the NEF's mandate, previously calling for more funds to be made available in order to promote and support black business and entrepreneurs. (See link here)

As the state entity responsible for granting funding and financial support to black entrepreneurs and business owners, it plays a crucial role in addressing the legacy of Apartheid in South Africa, and we cannot allow it to be abused by Mrs Mthethwa for personal gain.

Statement issued by Dean Macpherson MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, December 3 2014

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