BY BONISILE NDALISO
Embattled Amatola Water has finally appointed a permanent board chair. The water utility confirmed on Tuesday that Dr Mosidi Makgae, 47, had been appointed the new permanent board member on Monday, following the recent resignation of former chair, Mzi Malotana. Buhle Tonise, who was appointed in February remains deputy chair. Makgae was an adviser to the technical committee: National Nuclear Regulator from 2017 to 2020 before being appointed to Amatola Water. In 2019, she was a board member at the Strategic Fuel Fund and in 2018 a board member at Mhlathuze Water Board. Between 2010 and 2014 she was a council member at the Water Institute of Southern Africa while she held the position of interim board member at Zenzele TDC, a subsidiary of SEDA in 2016.
She has been a board member of the Water Research Commission from 2016 to date. Amatola has had its share of leadership instability during former water & sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu's tenure. In February before she was moved to a different portfolio, Sisulu welcomed Amatola Water's new board appointed for four years and called on members to put the people of the Eastern Cape first by ensuring that the municipalities the board served received potable bulk water. At the time Sisulu asked the board to prioritise the filling of all vacancies, particularly the positions of the CEO and senior management In August, one of Sisulu's reported major moves in the portfolio was a letter outlining her intention to dismiss another Amatola Water official.
At the time, the Dispatch reported that Sisulu led something of a crusade against what she alleged was corruption at the country's water boards and bemoaned the failure of state investigating agencies to follow up on her complaints. The result was instability in the sector. The Amatola Water Board's executive management was changed no fewer than four times in four months in 2020 after its CEO, Vuyo Zitumane, was suspended. The water utility had since had four acting CEOs, and its board chair position has also been rotated four times during the same period. In June, Sisulu accused Eastern Cape law enforcement agencies and some politicians of working against her efforts to rid the Amatola Water Board of corruption. Sisulu alleged in parliament at the time that she was not getting the necessary cooperation from law enforcement agencies in dealing with water boards, especially in the Eastern Cape. Amatola Water spokesperson Nosisa Sogayise said a handover to Makgae is scheduled for Monday.