Former chamber head resigns
DCCI: Singh cites irregularities
THE resignation last month from the board of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) of a past president, Akash Singh, has raised questions about the corporate governance at the or ganisation.
The DCCI is affiliated to the South African Chamber of C ommerce and Indus try (Sacci). This month S acci said thr ee local and regional chambers of commerce had resigned from the national chamber: Ekurhuleni Chamber of C ommerce and Industry, Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of B usiness.
The three chambers had made allegations of financial and governance irregularities at Sacci, which the chamber denied.
Sacci’s pr esident, Z eph N dlovu, is also president of the DCCI. T he DCCI is one of the big gest busine ss chamber s in the country.
In Singh’s purported resignation let ter, he r aises similar c oncerns about g overnance, irregular election of bo ard members and financial irregularities, this time at the DCCI.
Singh could not be r eached for further comment yesterday pertaining to the veracity of the let ter. Ndlovu, in r eply to questions from The
Witness, c onfirmed, h owever, that Singh sent an email to DCCI council members, noncouncil member s, “and in f act nonCURRENCIES chamber members” announcing his r esignation on M ay 26, 2017.
Ndlovu said the DCCI’s membership had gained year on y ear.
“Whilst the numbers were at times affected month on month, we did, however, result in a positive net balance year on year. Not only that, the Durban Chamber’s operating financial results have shown gains year on year,” said N dlovu.
In Singh’s alleged resignation let ter, he cites a failure to receive an agenda and reporting packs for a full council meeting on May 30, 2017, by the date of his resignation, as an e xample of poor c orporate governance.
To this allegation, Ndlovu replied that the council received the dat e for the meeting timeously. “This was also in response to the same council insisting that we have the said council meeting ,” he added.
Ndlovu said c ouncil member s had r eceived their board packs including the agenda. He said “some” council members had known of the meeting dat e since May 18.
On Singh’s alleged claims that issues relating to Sacci’s loss of member ship were not being raised at the DCCI’s board, even though it was on the agenda, Ndlovu replied:
“Board has al ways been inf ormed and kept abreast of de velopments at S acci, as reflected in council minutes. Besides, Sacci is visiting chamber member s countrywide including DCCI, t o clarify matters before them.”