BBC’s Elias Monage rejects Transnet board appointment

Harris Marley
Harris Marley

Global Courant
Picture: Engineering News

Elias Monage, who is the president of both Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) and the Black Business Council (BBC) has rejected to accept an appointment to serve as board member at Transnet.

After attending the Russia Africa Summit conference of Brics which ended on Friday, he revealed to Sunday World that he was not sure what motivated his nomination, and who raised his name for the position to serve on the state-owned entity.

Monage said considering the various positions he holds in the industry, he would rather decline the appointment to avoid a possible conflict of interests – and “the possibility to be associated with a likely state capture 2.0 enquiry following the Gupta’s shenanigans.

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“I regrettably will need to decline the nomination to the Transnet board considering my various roles in the industry, and to avoid any possibility of a potential and/or perceived conflict of interest. I trust you will understand my principled position,” said Monage.

The businessman said he did not have any sinister motive behind his rejection of the position, however, he emphasised that he did not want to be labelled an opportunist and that he did not want to be conflicted as his line of business is aligned to what Transnet does.

He said if he took up the position and later his businesses find themselves doing business with Transnet, he would then be labelled a Gupta or get entangled in a state capture 2.0., so he felt that it was a good thing to decline this position of being a board member at Transnet on principle.

“I don’t want to be accused of using my position to score projects at the SOE (state-owned enterprises). It’s a matter of principle to avoid conflicts,” he added. Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan announced the new board last week, where Monage was also announced as a board member.

When making the announcement, Gordhan also mentioned that

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the board would be chaired by the former vice president of the Minerals Council South Africa and ex-executive head of the Anglo-American South Africa, Andile Sangqu.

Gordhan went on to appoint the global supply chain coach and CEO of Sincport Lebogang Letsoalo and president of the Engineering Council of South Africa, Refilwe Buthelezi, as board members of the state entity.

It was last week when Monage sent a letter to Gordhan declining the appointment, and in that letter he expressed that while he was deeply humbled for the confidence shown in him, he would decline the appointment.

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BBC’s Elias Monage rejects Transnet board appointment

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