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EAAB annual report under scrutiny

Yusuf Patel, Deputy Chairperson of the EAAB, compiled the Chairperson’s Report in the 2020/2021 Annual Report.

In his report he levelled some serious allegations against the industry at large without presenting any supporting information.

Some very surprising and disturbing excerpts include:

  • “It is important to place on record that the entity has received regular constructive feedback for which it is grateful.
  • “However, there is also an observable trend of antagonism that has three pillars.
  • “First, is an anti-transformation agenda that has sought to challenge decisions of the Board aimed at providing access to the sector for black practitioners. Whilst vocalized by the obvious conservative politicised lobby groups, the ultimate sponsors of this agenda remain hidden from the public for obvious reasons.
  • “The second trend is based on a contestation of the mandate of the entity. This is driven by the wish of certain interest groups to have the regulator de-linked from the mandate of also being a professional oversight body. Indeed, there are examples elsewhere in the world, of regulatory regimes that place this mandate potentially in private hands. That is however not the case in South Africa. It appears, however, that having failed to win their preferred outcome during the parliamentary public process, which gave rise to the new Act, the strategy has evolved to that of waging hostilities with the intention of undermining the regulator. In this regard, the EAAB has received specific complaints from certain industry practitioners for it to investigate these disruptive practices.
  • “Lastly, and related to the above, is a trend towards co-regulation if not self-regulation. Having observed these audacious activities and the underlying motives for a while, it appears that some of them appear to fall within the regulatory scope of at least two regulatory bodies whose task it is to monitor undesired business practices and are accordingly referred.”

Jan Le Roux, Rebosa CE, says: “These are rather shocking assertions which is obviously aimed at the industry without advancing any facts whatsoever. It is quite frankly undeserved and destructive and Patel should in the interest of transparency give substance to the allegations by explaining the statements.

“I have not come any across any anti-transformation agenda nor of anyone even hinting at undermining the regulator. Patel should really explain why he did not raise these ‘issues’ with industry bodies at the time when he had many opportunities to do so but chose instead to communicate his grievances and gripes  in the Annual Report – the purpose of which is unclear” says Le Roux.

Le Roux continues: “Vis-à-vis the Report – one wonders, why did Patel not comment on the fact that the EAAB since late last year had no Executive Manager: Information Technology despite this being an important portfolio considering the defunct IT system and its bearing on issuing FFCs ?

“Interestingly, Mathibela Selepe still features as such in the report despite his resignation and departure last year. Also, after the sad demise of Karen Son the EAAB does not even have an Acting Chief Financial Officer, one of the most crucial portfolios in any organisation. Reporting this would have been factual.

“Is Patel perhaps deflecting the attention from the failures of the EAAB, especially it’s lack of anything significant as far as effective transformation goes? Please note that the EAAB reported revenue of R 147 million iro the last year.”

Mr Patel was asked to elaborate and undertook to do so but never sent any comment in time for publication.

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