The land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) has appointed current Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market head Ayanda Kanana as its chief executive. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) has appointed current Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market head Ayanda Kanana as its chief executive. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Downgraded Land Bank names new chief executive

By banele.ginindza Time of article published Feb 18, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) has appointed current Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market head Ayanda Kanana as its chief executive to stem the tide of poor corporate governance which saw ratings agency Moody’s downgrading it to junk status last month.

The bank said Kanana, a chartered accountant, would take the helm at the beginning of March.

The bank, whose focus is lending to the agricultural industry, has been without a permanent chief since December 2018 after Tshokolo Nchocho moved to the Industrial Development Corporation.

Konehali Gugushe, who was the chief risk officer of the bank, served as acting chief executive since May 2019 before resigning in January.

The bank last month appointed its executive for strategy and communications, Sydney Soundy, to manage the operation following Gugushe’s resignation.

The bank posted a net profit of R130.6 million in the year to end March and grew its transformational loans to R7.9 billion.

Last month Moody’s downgraded the bank’s debt issuance one notch to Ba1 and assigned a negative outlook after flagging uncertainty related to the appointment of a permanent chief executive, among other issues.

“While the ratings agency acknowledges initiatives taken by the Land Bank to strengthen governance in light of generally heightened attention to South African state-owned enterprises, the prolonged period of uncertainty in relation to appointing a permanent CEO, who will ensure sustained oversight of the bank’s operations and strategic direction, is a cause for concern. For Land Bank, corporate governance remains a key credit consideration,” said Moody’s at the time.

The bank yesterday said Kanana had in-depth knowledge of the agriculture sector and has served on various board structures.

He is currently the chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee for the East London Industrial Development Zone.

It said he has also won multiple industry awards with the most recent one being Public Sector CEO of the Year 2019 by the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa.

“Ayanda is passionate about agriculture, in particular the development of emerging farmers,” it said.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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