Zukiswa Rantho, the ANC MP who asked Eskom pension fund CEO Sibusiso Luthuli whether the provident fund rules rendered it so vulnerable that it sounded like “umgalelo [stokvel]”, may not be able to chair the inquiry into state-owned entity come next week.
This is because she was deployed to act in that position, as her substantive position is that of whip of the public enterprises committee.
“She is not the only one. All five whips were acting as chairpersons of committees, and will revert back to their original positions. The ANC has now appointed chairpersons on permanent basis and the work [parliamentary inquiry] will continue as scheduled,” said ANC caucus acting spokeswoman Nonceba Mhlauli.
Rantho is, however, slightly taken aback by the decision, as she said she only heard from the media during the presentation by the Eskom provident fund today that she has been replaced.
“I also got it from media. I heard there is a new person the chief whip’s [Jackson Mthembu] office said will be appointed a chairperson. But the procedure is that the name should be presented to the committee so we can vote on it,” Rantho told The Citizen shortly after today’s hearing was adjourned.
A statement released by the ANC Parliamentary caucus announced that Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe, who previously served on the portfolio committee on human settlements, becomes the new chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises. The position was previously held by Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, who is now the deputy minister of public service and administration.
Humfrey Mmemezi, who previously served on the portfolio committee on human settlements, becomes the new chairperson of the portfolio committee on public works. The position was previously held by Ben Martins, who is now the deputy minister of public enterprises.
Cassel Mathale, who previously served as the whip of the portfolio committee of science and technology becomes the new chairperson of the portfolio committee on public service and administration, monitoring and evaluation. The position was previously held by Makhosi Khoza, who resigned as a member of parliament.
Fezeka Loliwe, who previously served as the whip of the portfolio committee on labour, becomes the new chairperson of the portfolio committee on labour. The position was previously held by Lumka Yengeni, who is now South Africa’s ambassador designate to Jamaica.
Jabu Mahlangu, who previously served as the whip of the portfolio committee on arts and culture becomes the new chairperson of the portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services. The position was previously held by Mmamaloko Kubayi, who is now the minister of communications.
On why she asked Luthuli if the provident fund was operating like a stokvel, Rantho said she was concerned that the fund administrator might have been sailing dangerously close to money laundering.
“There are many discrepancies that have come from the presentation. It sounds like they agreed to everything. If they had acted ethically, they would have asked questions. It looks like they agreed to pay and transfer money without asking questions,” Rantho said in reaction to an admission that Brian Molefe did not qualify as a member of the provident fund, as he was on fixed-term contract.