Knysna Tourism Board vs Shaun van Eck vs Public
The ex-CEO, Shaun van Eck, seemed to run Knysna Tourism as his own fiefdom and that was an image that the Tourism Board and Knysna Municipality were happy to perpetuate when in fact they were guilty as well.
In hindsight, their statement on Dec 13 2013 was ominous: “As a Board, we had taken the decision not to make public all the details pertaining to this case, as we were hoping to protect the integrity of both the Board and its CEO, Shaun van Eck.”
When Knysna’s Tourism’s finances had become so poor that they could no longer be ignored, the Tourism Board had instituted an investigation against him which led to a disciplinary hearing which found him guilty of:
- Poor Corporate Governance
This included no contracts signed with the vast majority of contractors Knysna Tourism dealt with and unjustifiable loans to companies e.g. Lightley’s R120 000. Continue reading
In Knysna Municipality‘s own Knynsa Oversight Report 2011-2012, which was adopted on March 28 2013, they said: “The municipality is making use of service providers that deliver services to the municipality and community, and therefore should report on its performances. Particular attention should be given to Knysna Tourism and other service providers that deliver critical services to the municipality and/or are of significant monetary value.”
That was rhetoric and a serious understatement as, from 2011 onwards, Knysna Tourism experienced a financial disaster of which the Knysna Municipality and the DA was aware of but chose to address only once Knysna Tourism was practically bankrupt, able to only pay salaries. Despite being informed early on, the ANC and COPE were non-existent as opposition or inquirers. This allowed Knysna Tourism to be controlled by ‘outside interests’ as it is a special entity, a service provider to the DA-run municipality, reliant on a handout that comprises the majority of its budget which enables it to gain the rest of its budget except for membership fees.
That the Knysna Oversight Report 2011-2012 only gave Knysna Tourism one line when it has been a continuous, public disaster the past year showed how the Knysna Municipality, and the DA (Democratic Alliance) running it, were deliberately choosing understatement e.g. Knysna Tourism has been without a CEO since September 2012 (9 months at the time of composing this blog). Continue reading