The Knysna Tourism Board, the Knysna Municipality and DA politicians have deliberately withheld information from Knysna regarding the financial fiasco at Knysna Tourism. Reading the following rules of conduct that they were suppose to uphold as members of the Tourism Board and Financial Committee, it would be logical to assume that they are protecting their arses instead of serving you, the people of Knysna.
Knysna Tourism Corporate Governance code of practice and conduct states: “The Board is responsible for the appointment of the CEO”, “must ensure that all decisions on all material matters remain in the hands of the Board”, and “is ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMPANY.” Furthermore:
- There must be no less than 11 meetings annually.
- “Are responsible for the “determination of policy and processes to ensure the integrity if the company’s risk management and internal controls.”
- The Board must ensure all procedures are in place to monitor and evaluate the implementation of its strategies, policies AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE…”
- “Ensure adequate funds for the company’s plans and operations.”
The role of the chairperson (currently Greg Vogt) includes:
- “Arranging for new directors appointed to the Board and the CEO to be properly inducted and orientated.”
- Ensuring “that the Board is rational and objective in all its deliberations.”
- Ensuring “that Board procedures and protocols are followed, including notices, agendas, minutes and reports.”
- “Distribution of Board information to members is complete and timeous. “
The Board must:
- “Never permit a conflict of duties and interest and must disclose potential conflicts of interest at the earliest opportunity.”
- “Must act independently of any outside fetter or instruction [e.g. political, municipal.”
An essential part of Knysna Tourism’s existence is EXCO, the Executive Committee whose “task is to assist the CEO in managing” Knysna Tourism. The EXCO meetings are suppose to take place “no less than every two weeks”. BUT THEY NEVER FORMED THE EXCO!
The Board accused Shaun van Eck of lying about Glendyrr Fick’s trip to Jamaica being sponsored when it wasn’t. They even claimed that they were unaware of her trip to Jamaica until she returned. Despite this, the Board would not supply me her motivation letter for her trip and instead promoted her to Acting General Manager of Knysna Tourism in February 2013. Glendyrr Fick stated that Shaun never said that it was sponsored and she referred to it as a “study trip”.
Furthermore, the Knysna-Plett Herald reported that, “A twinning agreement between the Judah Square Rastafarian Community in Knysna and the Rastafari Indigenous Village in Montego Bay, Jamaica was initiated following a recent visit to Jamaica by Knysna Tourism development manager, Glendyrr Fick.” Is this hindsight twinning agreement with all costs and no benefit such as the one Mayor Georlene Wolmarans and Municipal Manager Lauren Waring made with those cities in France?
Again, Judah Square wasn’t consulted about the costs supposedly being spent on their behalf and the main issue is that Tourism, with little money to spare, sent her on a Jamaica trip.
The Tourism Board was aware of loans to Lightley’s and Phantom Pass for years. They emphasised that they were against the last loan but intentionally failed to tell their members and the public that this had become routine and that the budget had been submitted to Grant Easton and the Board which included 3 municipal members at the time. Such diversion onto the CEO could be interpreted as them covering their arses.
Was Dirk Joubert the consultant who was paid R30 000 over 3 months? Was this to assist Knysna Tourism in changing their constitution so that Directors are better protected and can earn money?
In point 2 of Knysna Tourism’s Corporate Governance document, it states clearly that the “4 principles of Corporate Governance are fairness, accountability, responsibility and transparency.” Do you believe that we remotely got any of that?
Why do you think that the Knysna Municipality and the Knysna Tourism Board refused to answer questions from the very people they are suppose to be serving?
“A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information.”
What are they hiding? Does their behaviour make you believe that they should retain their positions?
What is their true agenda for Knysna…and are our interests included in it?
Are any Tourism members reading this going to apply these laws to the Board?