Molefe breaks Transnet promise on pension raise

Published Jul 9, 2012


I read with interest your article on Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe on July 5, where he states that he consistently delivers on promises. That is laughable. Where is the increase to the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund pensioners which he was supposed to pay as ruled by Parliament in December 2010?

He was again called to Parliament last year to explain why this had not been done.

In November last year he informed Parliament that this matter would be sorted out by the end of March this year, but to date this has not been done. He ignores all correspondence in connection with this matter, not even bothering to acknowledge receipt of same. This matter was covered by the Cape Times in November last year.

Jenny Horton


Most in top positions seeking enrichment

For an American to break into the corridors of conservative English banking, then leave with a golden handshake of nearly £30 million (R383m), speaks volumes for corporate governance, where wrongdoers benefit irrespective of the outcome.

Barclays’ Bob Diamond, not unlike Pitso Mosimane and former SAA chief executive Coleman Andrews, are part of the corporate world’s “excess baggage” that slides into such positions with the ultimate aim of enrichment, leaving no lasting legacies and driving corporates (Enron and the American International Group) into the financial wilderness.

AR Modak


Business show at ANC talk shop unfortunate

I cannot help but wonder whether the so-called Progressive Business Forum exhibition held at Gallagher Estate alongside the ANC policy conference (Business Report, June 29) was a coincidence or if it was planned to win the ear of the government and broker business deals?

One becomes increasingly suspicious when viewing the photograph of President Jacob Zuma greeting Maria Ramos, Absa’s chief executive. One then wonders about the many businesses that were not present. Will they also get a foot in the door?

In Business Report on July 2 under a heading “Activist questions executive pay at Absa”, the bonuses of top executives at Absa are queried, including the “short-term bonus” of R14 million awarded to Ramos.

One further wonders whether South African banks are not heading the same way as British and other international banks, cosy relations with government and lack of regulation and accountability. Is something going to blow up here as well?

Clive J Napier


Nuclear safety more crucial than profits

The Business Report article “Panel blames short cuts for Fukushima disaster” on July 6 is another warning to review the commitment to nuclear reactors. Many commentators believe the main problem was the Japanese culture of not opposing the powers that be and the report refers to Tokyo Electric Power Company’s “reluctance to accept global safety standards”. Yet, there is much more to the issue.

Independent scientific sources such as the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have found that the industry trend to place the financial bottom line ahead of safety concerns is a global issue. Some US reactors haven’t yet implemented the safety rules developed as follow-up to the 1979 Three Mile Island incident. The collusion of regulators, governments and industry is widespread.

South Africa with its lack of a whistle-blowing culture and its National Nuclear Regulator, which has still not informed stakeholders properly about the effect of the Fukushima experience on plans for more reactors, is no exception.

The headline of a report submitted to the Centre for International Security “Are terrorists as dangerous as management?” applies here, as elsewhere.

Our government should not allow itself to be frightened by the nuclear lobby’s falsehood that “there is no alternative”. If they do, it will have financial implications and expose us to an increased risk of another Fukushima.

Joachim Zimmer

Cape Town

Textile union between rock and hard place

It is ironic that the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) is fighting against the implementation of the same minimum wages that it helped to impose on the industry (“Union fights court bid to close clothing factories”, Business Report, July 5).

The penny has finally dropped that imposing minimum wages uniformly across an industry that is already struggling to compete with cheaper Asian imports will lead to the closure of factories.

The union “does not condone non-compliance” but shutting down 400 factories would be a “disaster”, it says. As the saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it.

Lucy Holborn

Research Manager, SA Institute of Race Relations

Bonus must be linked to performance

In the July 2 article by Ann Crotty on activists questioning executive pay, what is surprising is the level of knowledge and lack of insight of shareholders who vote in favour of a remuneration committee that did not give adequate information.

Looking at the banks in the US and the case of Barclays, there is a clear trend of the public losing confidence and wanting closer scrutiny.

That Maria Ramos would be awarded a short-term bonus of R14 million for the 2011 year in light of last week’s shock earnings result for Absa, is iniquitous.

The performance of senior executives should be aligned to the performance of the bank. If such a large bonus is paid under such circumstances why is Absa losing market share and retrenching staff? In fairness these bonuses should be clawed back because they have not been paid as an incentive reward for above average results on the bottom line earnings of Absa.

Sean Bozalek


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