Cabinet Statement - Dube TradePort Board Briefs KZN Cabinet

21 August 2012

Pietermaritzburg, 21 August 2012: The KwaZulu-Natal Cabinet today received a full briefing by the board of the Dube Tradeport Corporation following the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer who was on precautionary suspension. The board will continue to report to the Cabinet on the on-going investigations into improper conduct on the part of any party or employee.

Welcoming the report, Cabinet endorsed the course of action pursued by the Board since allegations of improper and illegal conduct surfaced regarding the management and operation of the cargo terminal.

Specifically, Cabinet noted that the Board had been giving regular updates to MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu who is responsible for the entity. In turn, the MEC gave Cabinet a detailed briefing about the comprehensive responses he had given to the media regarding suggestions of improper conduct in his involvement with Dube Tradeport officials. Cabinet welcomed the fact that Mr Mabuyakhulu had dealt with the matter quickly and put to rest innuendo that was being peddled in the media.

The Board, led by Chairperson, Dr. Bridget Gasa, tabled before Cabinet the findings of a probity firm that investigated the procurement process which led to the appointment of World Flight Services South Africa as a cargo terminal operator.

Cabinet has given full support to the decision of the Board to refer the matter to the Anti-Corruption Task Team set up by the President of the Republic in order to ensure that every cent that may have been misappropriated is recovered.

Said Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize: 

“We appreciate the work that has been done by the Board so far. We look forward to the finalization of all the investigations in this matter in order to ensure uninterrupted efficiency of operations at Dube Tradeport which is a jewel in the crown of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal .

“This is our flagship project which is both strategic and catalytic in unblocking international trade between KwaZulu-Natal and the world. We can’t allow it to be derailed by any improper conduct or dark clouds hanging over it. When all the investigations are complete, we reserve the right as this Cabinet to explore further avenues to assist us to understand fully what happened. Depending on the outcomes, this might include a commission of inquiry”.

“We are extremely pleased with both the speed and manner the Board has dealt with the matter. There is absolutely no suggestion that the organization is falling apart at the seams or that any of the other projects have been similarly tainted. The organization is stable, firm and its systems are robust. We have been assured that day-to-day business continues.

“As Cabinet, we have encouraged the Board to recruit a new chief executive officer and bring this matter to a speedy conclusion. This will be important in order to improve the efficiency of the organization and re-assure all stakeholders, including staff, that Dube Tradeport is on a sound footing despite the recent unfortunate event,” the Premier concluded.

Issued by the Office of the Premier on behalf of Cabinet

Enquiries:

Mr Cyril Madlala
Head of Provincial Government Communications
madlalac@premier.kzntl.gov.za
071 850 9596