Ngqula, Erwin meet up in coal sector

[] — FORMER South African Airways (SAA) and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) CEO Khaya Ngqula has got his hands dirty – this time literally – plying his trade in the coal business.

It also seems as if the career paths of Ngqula and his erstwhile political head, Alec Erwin, have crossed again.

According to SA Company records, Ngqula was appointed as a director of Worldwide Coal Carolina on May 1 2009, less than two months after he was sacked as CEO of SAA.

In August 2010, SAA chairperson Cheryl Carolus said the failures under Ngqula’s leadership were mainly in the areas of procurement and wasteful expenditure.

Ngqula was first appointed CEO of the IDC in 1997 during Erwin’s tenure as minister of trade and industry. Erwin also oversaw Ngqula’s redeployment as SAA CEO in August 2004 – this time in Erwin’s capacity as minister of public enterprises.

The end of Erwin’s political career coincided with the recall of Thabo Mbeki as South Africa’s president by the ANC in September 2008. Ngqula was suspended as SAA chief and subsequently fired in the first quarter of 2009.

However, the pair’s professional relationship was restored when UBU Logistics – that has Erwin as a director – was appointed by the department of mineral resources in February as an acting administrator for the Quattro coal export system.

The Quattro system provides 4 million tonnes per year of export entitlement to black-owned companies at Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT). Worldwide Coal Carolina has an entitlement of 401,000t/year under the scheme – the biggest single portion among 18 existing and two new members.