Former cham­ber head re­signs

DCCI: Singh cites ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties

The Witness - - YOU MONEY - ED­WARD WEST

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.”

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