Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies announced on Thursday that he had dissolved the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) board with immediate effect, owing to its failure to exercise its fiduciary duties in terms of the Standards Act and the Public Finance Management Act.
The organisation had been place under the control of administrators.
Also highlighted in his statement was the SABS's alleged complicity in the approval of coal for Eskom from the Gupta-family-linked mining company, Tegeta.
The Minister said he had acted having received numerous complaints regarding a lack of service delivery by SABS and having considered “unpersuasive” written and oral representations from board members over the past few days.
The SABS had failed to perform in line with its mandate, Davies said in a statement, adding that he had lost confidence in the board’s ability to manage the entity effectively.
On June 8, Davies wrote to individual board members indicating that he was considering their removal. Three board members subsequently tendered their resignations, while the remaining members provided the Minister with collective and individual responses.
“The collective response, as received from the board on 15 June 2018, is in my view unsatisfactory. It does not address my concerns, and it indicates that the board has misapprehended its legislative mandate."
The Minister revealed that he then met with the board on June 25 to hear further representations. However, the meeting did not change his view regarding the board’s “malperformance”.
“In my view, no cogent countervailing arguments were advanced at the meeting that have swayed me from my initial concerns.”