Communications Minister Mondli Gungubele believes it will take no more than two months to appoint a new PostBank board as the department begins its search for new candidates following last week’s mass resignations.
As the structure was not overseen, Gangubele appointed special adviser to his office, Khayalethu Ngema, as administrator of Postbank. Last week, PostBank chairman Thabile Wonci, Leigh Hefer-Hendrikse and Vuyelwa Matsiliza resigned from the board along with three other members. The board member who did not resign was fired by Gungubele. The unit is currently headed by managing director Nikki Mbengashe and company secretary Nobuhle Sibeko, who has only been with the bank for about two months.
Briefing the media on the status of benefit payments after 600,000 SA Social Security Administration (Sasa) benefit recipients were delayed in September, Gungubele on Thursday expressed confidence in the current leadership. The minister said that the absence of the board will not affect the subsidy payments and other activities of the bank.
“I don’t think it will take more than two months. We announced [the board’s position] on the same day [last Thursday]. We think this institution is in good hands because it is a financial institution. The CEO, who took office less than eight weeks ago, has proven his mettle,” he said.
Gungubele insisted that all beneficiaries affected by the delay would receive their payments by Thursday. “We start the October payment cycle in less than two weeks, so we’re already starting to prepare to ensure we don’t face the challenges our customers experienced in September,” he said.
Mbengash said the unit has fixed all errors in the grant payment system and improved its technical capabilities to avoid recurrence of errors in grant payments. “We know what those issues are and we’ve fixed them on day one – we’re making sure that all the issues around those issues are fixed and we’re making sure they’re in place,” she said.