JOHANNESBURG, June 29 – Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies on Thursday dissolved the board of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) with immediate effect for failing to exercise its fiduciary duties and its alleged complicity in the approval of the substandard Tegeta coal for state-owned power utility Eskom.
This comes after three directors resigned after Davies earlier this month asked the board members to make oral and written representations — which Davies deemed “unsatisfactory” and “unpersuasive” respectively — as to why he should not remove them from the SABS board on the back of the allegations against the crucial institution.
“The malperformance of the board has become a matter of some concern. I have received numerous complaints regarding lack of service delivery by SABS. These have come from both big and small business, including complaints from black industrial players that government is working hard to expand,” Davies said.
“Local manufacturers are failing to secure supply contracts in local and international markets because of SABS’s under-performance. At the same time, through the Eskom Parliamentary Inquiry process, allegations of complicity against SABS in the approval of Tegeta coal for Eskom have come to my attention.”
Davies said that it was his responsibility to ensure that entities who are responsible for quality and standardisation matters, including the SABS, prevent sub-standard and unsafe products from entering the local market while at the same time enabling South African exporters to lock into foreign markets.
“SABS has failed to perform in line with its mandate. I have lost confidence in the board’s ability to manage the entity effectively,” he said.
“The reasons that informed the decision are as a result of a failure to address all of my and industry’s concerns as communicated adequately and in essence a failure to effectively exercise the fiduciary duties imposed upon SABS in terms of the Standards Act and the PFMA.” (ANA)