Johannesburg Water Managing Director Lungile Dhlamini has been appointed acting Managing Director of Pikitup, the City of Johannesburg's waste management entity.
This follows an announcement by Member of Mayoral Committee for Environment and Infrastructure Services Cllr Matshidiso Mfikoe on Thursday July 7 that Pikitup Managing Director Amanda would remain on special leave.
Dhlamini will act in the position until further notice. Nair was first placed on special leave in May.
MMC Mfikoe said the decision to keep Nair on special leave was taken at the utility’s board meeting on Tuesday July 5 following findings by an independent investigation into fresh allegations of corruption and maladministration levelled against Nair.
The allegations against Nair were brought by the South African Municipal Workers’ Union in March following a protracted strike by more than 4 500 Pikitup workers.
According to Cllr Mfikoe, the investigation against Nair revealed weaknesses in internal policies and controls, which resulted in actions that were not disclosed to the board. The report also identified wrongdoing in human resources and financial management.
“The overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the company, including compliance with local government legislation and regulations and Pikitup policies, resides with the MD, who reports and accounts to the board. The board has accordingly informed the MD, Ms Nair, that she is required to attend an inquiry in terms of section 188A of the Labour Relations Act to deal with evidence concerning the allegations and to give her an opportunity to respond. The special leave of the MD will remain in force,” the MMC said.
Mfikoe said Dhlamini, who has an excellent track record, “will bring his expertise and experience to bear in working with the board, management and staff at Pikitup to address the weaknesses that have been identified”.
She said following a turbulent 2015-2016 financial year, Pikitup was on the road to recovery.
“Over the past five years, Pikitup has transformed from a company in a state of disarray with total liabilities in excess of R320-million at the end of 2011-2012 to a [company with a] total surplus of R160-million at the end of 2014-2015.
Irregular expenditure was a miniscule R2-million per annum, down from R280-million in 2010-2011 to R23.5-million in 2014-2015. In fact, the company received its first clean audit in 2014-2015,” she said.
She said the strike had impacted on residents but the City, under the leadership of Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau, “took extraordinary steps to ensure that the risks of a health disaster were avoided and services maintained”.
Mfikoe said the parties remained committed to the agreement brokered by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
“Every effort is being made to ensure a new era of harmonious labour relations,” she said.