Antoinette Slabbert
1 minute read
24 Apr 2015
12:00 am

I’m a victim of union politics – Ludin

Antoinette Slabbert

Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will brief parliament about the controversial resignation of Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) CEO Astrid Ludin, a department of trade and industry (DTI) spokesperson says.

Companies and Intellectual Property Commission CEO Astrid Ludin Photo: ITWeb

The CIPC oversees the registration of companies, cooperatives and intellectual property rights and various aspects of the Companies Act, like disclosures and financial reporting standards.

Sudden departure

Ludin resigned suddenly before the end of her contract, citing a lack of support from Davies and the department in ongoing disputes with the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu). She will leave the commission by the end of May.

The DTI source confirmed Davies had been preparing to suspend Ludin before her sudden departure. This followed a forensic investigation into an alleged breach of the Public Finance Management Act.

Nehawu welcomed Ludin’s resignation.

The source said Davies wanted to provide a proper perspective and would not address the issue until then. The source could

not say when the briefing would take place.

Ludin told Business she had tried to increase the effiency of the CIPC and to make it more accessible. The organisation also had to restructure significantly to meet new obligations under the new Companies Act.

She said paper was largely eliminated in the CIPC’s companies section, ending the ability of individual staff members to fast-track issues for specific clients and stamp out corruption, which may account for some of the resistance.

She said Nehawu and the Public Servants Association were consulted about the restructuring.

But in November 2013, the Nehawu leadership changed, ushering in a new, difficult relationship. “They tried to go back over an old agreement (concluded in July 2013),” she said.

Ludin said she was confident the conflict with the union could have been managed, but Nehawu went to Davies and he provided a different forum, undermining her. “Too many cooks spoiled the broth,” she said.