Factionalism continues to tear the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce apart, hindering its core mandate of helping small businesses particularly in the townships.
This was confirmed by provincial structures who have told Vutivi News that factionalism was destroying the fabric of the organisation.
Court battles and infighting have replaced cooperation and developing small business in South Africa, they said.
Nafcoc Gauteng president Bongani Dlamini told Vutivi News that he believed the root of factionalism stems from the arms deal, which the organisation was earmarked as a potential player.
He said before the arms deal the federation was identified as a potential player in the contract.
But when the possibility of it playing a part in the project became real, said Dlamini, Nafcoc members started fighting because of the money that was going to come through for the federation.
“That is where the factionalism really started,” he said.
Conflict also escalated when Nafcoc sold its Tsogo Sun shares.
Dlamini said after the sale of these shares members became greedy and wanted the money for themselves.
“There are many members that sacrificed their time and resources, but when the Tsogo Sun shares came out, they did not benefit. Only friends of leadership benefitted. That was something that really hurt us,” Dlamini said.“When the time came for provinces to receive their stake of the shares, Silver Vanity combined these stakes and they bought Gallagher Estate,” he also said.
Dlamini has committed to keeping his eyes on the ball, vowing that factionalism would not deter him from the bigger picture of helping small businesses in the province.
“Each and every organisation has its own internal problems, but if we lose focus on what we’re supposed to do, it will create serious problems,” he said.
“My mandate is to make sure that I lobby business owners and government and bring them to the table,” he said.
Nafcoc’s Limpopo president Sello Kgolane told Vutivi News that there were multiple cases opened against the mother body.
According to documents provided by Kgolane, a report released by Imogene Matlalane Phaladi laid bare allegations of theft of funds and the purchasing of luxury cars amongst others by some leaders.The court battle between Nafcoc and Nafcoc Limpopo has resulted in a string of court cases.
Kgalane, who is a former Silver Vanity director, accused current president Gilbert Mosena of being the mastermind behind the alleged factionalism.
“They are fighting with Lawrence Mavundla. Mosena doesn’t want to pay dividends to other sectors. I opened a case against them because Mosena took money from Silver Vanity. Hawks is currently investigating the matter,” he said.
Factionalism, according to Kgalane, ran rampant in the organisation’s structures.
“The factionalism, at national, has affected the provincial bodies. So you’ll find that for example the Nafcoc in Sekhukhune district has no problem, but there is factionalism in the provincial body. This is because there is also factionalism in the national body,” he said.
This was echoed by Eastern Cape secretary general Mpho Khitsane who agreed that factionalism was a great hindrance.
“The factionalism is something that is in the public. We all know that it’s something whose presence is constant and recurring. This is part of the reason why NAFCOC hasn’t been able to service people in the appropriate way, according to its mandate.
“It is currently being resolved, as we expect to be able to go back to normal operations. Right now we’re busy trying to sort the factionalism out, as it is something that has been hindering the progress of the organisation.”
Khitsane also said that NAFCOC was in the process of reinventing itself.
“There have been multiple processes we have been undergoing to make sure that things go back to normal,” he said.
Vutivi News tried to reach Nafcoc for a comment and even sent a list of questions which were not responded to.
Nafcoc spokesperson Millicent Sikazwe claimed that the questions have been forwarded to Nafcoc president.
However, affiliate organisations including NAFCOC’s Security and Cleaning Sector (NAFSEC) secretary general Bathini Malobola poured cold water on factionalism allegations.
“We only understand that there are people who call themselves Nafcoc who are not Nafcoc. Currently Nafsec is running smoothly. There’s no effect from the alleged factionalism.
“The problem arises from individuals that are not compliant within NAFCOC that have decided to call themselves rebels,” he claimed.