Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Sihle Zikalala, held a highly productive meeting with the members of the Independent Development Trust (IDT) Board on Monday, 3 July 2023. This meeting marked one of several discussions between the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and the Board since March 2023.
The primary focus of these meetings has been to address the governance challenges that have recently come to the attention of the IDT’s Board, which necessitated a thorough investigation and resolution. Some of these challenges were raised by anonymous whistleblowers, prompting the need for immediate action.
During the meeting, it was unanimously agreed that the Board would continue its efforts to address these challenges. The DPWI and independent investigators will provide support in ensuring that the IDT maintains its crucial role in the delivery of social infrastructure in South Africa.
Extensive research has been conducted by the DPWI, the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC), and the IDT regarding possible corporate forms. The recommendations resulting from this background work are currently undergoing Cabinet and other requisite processes.
In discussions with Minister Zikalala, it was deemed appropriate for the two Ministerial appointees to resign from the Board to facilitate the forthcoming corporate changes. This decision aims to eliminate the distinction between Ministerial appointees and other Board members, ensuring that all individuals undergo the same appointment process. Furthermore, the DPWI, as a Department, will designate an official to directly interact with the Board, eliminating the need for Ministerial representatives.
Minister Zikalala expressed his gratitude to the current Ministerial appointees, Mr. Tim Sukazi and Dr. Michael Sutcliffe, for their dedicated service and wise counsel during this transformative period. Their valuable contributions and service to the country are highly appreciated, and their expertise may be called upon in the future.
With the ongoing process of transitioning to a new corporate form, Minister Zikalala warmly welcomed the appointment of Ms. Zimbini Hill as the interim Chairperson and Ms. Lerato Kumalo as the interim Deputy Chairperson of the IDT. Both individuals possess extensive experience and were unanimously elected by the members of the IDT Board.
The appointment of Ms. Hill and Ms. Kumalo signifies a pivotal step in maintaining stability and continuity during the interim period. Their leadership and expertise will contribute significantly to the IDT’s ongoing operations until the new corporate form is established.
The IDT plays a crucial role in facilitating the delivery of social infrastructure in South Africa. As the government addresses governance challenges and transitions the IDT to a new corporate form, these measures are necessary to ensure the organization’s continued success in serving the country’s infrastructure development needs.
Minister Zikalala reiterated his commitment to addressing the identified challenges and ensuring that the IDT remains an essential driver of social infrastructure delivery. By implementing necessary changes and leveraging the expertise of individuals like Ms. Hill and Ms. Kumalo, the government aims to enhance the IDT’s effectiveness and promote transparency and accountability within the organization.