Failure to address setbacks with the production of radioisotopes was one of the reasons Necsa's board was sacked, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Acts of defiance, ineptitude and a failure to address serious setbacks with the production of medical radioisotopes, used in cancer treatment, were some of the reasons the entire board of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) was sacked, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Friday.

In a media briefing, Radebe said South Africa was at risk of losing its global market share as NTP Radioisotopes SOC Ltd, a subsidiary of Necsa, had not produced any isotopes for the past year. 

"South Africa, which currently produces over half of the global market needs, was at risk of losing its market share and competitive edge in the production and sale of the medical isotopes," said Radebe.

Cabinet approved the appointment of a new board at its meeting on Wednesday after Radebe decided to sack the entire board.

Radebe said the previous board members were asked to  give compelling reasons why they should not be fired in light of "non-adherence to specific shareholder instructions and/or directives", "financial mismanagement", "remuneration irregularities", "unauthorised international travel", and "the NECSA Board’s inability to ensure the return to full operational functionality, of the crucial NTP Radioisotopes manufacturing facility, almost a full 12 months since the facility was shut down by the National Nuclear Regulator (“NNR”) due to serious safety irregularities", among others.

"Following the receipt of the NECSA Board members’ representations, we were still not convinced that the Board would be able to resolve the challenges at Necsa, hence we decided to relieve the entire Board membership of its duties," said Radebe. 

The new board members are Rob Adam (chairperson), Dr Ramatsemela Masango, Aadil Patel, Bishen Singh, Pulane Kingston, Matlhodi Ngwenya, Jabulani Ndlovu and Pulane Elsie Molokwane.

African News Agency (ANA)