In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe officially announced the appointment of seven members to the board of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa).
The statement read that this is in accordance with section 16(2) of the Nuclear Energy Act, 46 of 1999.
The appointments follow the resignation of the remaining board members last week.
The new Board members - appointed for a three year period - are:
Mr David Nicholls as Chairperson
Ms Senamile Masango
Mr Joseph Shayi
Ms Aadilah Chowan
Dr Gregory Jerome Davids
Mr Mashukudu James Maboa
Dr Namane Magau
Necsa has been in turmoil since 2018, when former energy minister Jeff Radebe sacked the previous board, including the chairman, Dr Kelvin Kemm, the CEO, Phumzile Tshelane, and its finance director, Pam Bosman.
However, in August 2019, the Pretoria High Court overturned Radebe’s suspension of Kemm and Bosman but made no ruling on Tshelane’s status as a disciplinary process was still ongoing.
Read more on the Necsa saga:
Disciplinary hearing scheduled for suspended Necsa legal officer
Court finds the Radebe-appointed Necsa board, unlawful
Nuclear industry takes another hit as Necsa chair quits
In correspondence with ESI Africa, Kemm wished the new chairman success for his term in office and explained the importance of nuclear in the South African market. "I wish Mr Dave Nicholls all the best for a successful term of office as Chairman of Necsa. South Africa is an internationally recognised nuclear country of significance, not only in nuclear power but in a variety of other nuclear fields as well such as; nuclear medicine, mining, speciality nuclear-associated chemicals, and more."
He added: "Nuclear is a diverse and complex field, which deserves attention since nuclear is the future in Africa and not only the traditional first world. I was proud to have been Chairman of Necsa from 2016 to 2018 when we expanded and were profitable, gaining an international reputation of significance."
Expressing his appreciation to Necsa staff during his chairmanship, Kemm said: "I wish to compliment the fine body of 2,000 Necsa employees who worked with such pride during my tenure. It is such a pity that during 2019 high-level political interference undid some of the fine work achieved during my term of office. Mr Nicholls, as a nuclear engineer of stature, has what it takes to make an impact to return Necsa to where it should be."
Further appointments to Necsa board forthcoming
The new Board members possess a wide range of skills in areas including nuclear regulation, nuclear analytical and calibration services, nuclear science, engineering, finance, law and corporate governance.
The Minister has further appointed Ms Elsie Monale as a representative of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to the Board.
The Department has commenced with a process to appoint the official representative of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to the Board, as required by the Nuclear Energy Act.
All appointments are subject to the conclusion of a successful background check and a comprehensive vetting process.
The appointment of the Board attests to the Minister’s publicly stated commitment to ensure good governance in state-owned entities in the mining and energy portfolio.