Big companies are watching “like vultures” to see which politicians they can lure, not only to supply business expertise, but also to bring along influence and networks of contacts, Netwerk24 reported on Sunday.
This is the view of Theo Venter, a political analyst at North-West University (NWU). He knows of a case where a minister, who was close to retirement, offered his services to a company.
According to Venter, former ministers are still members of the ANC and could influence decision making in the party or at least watch political developments taking place in the background.
Former Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene recently became part of a growing number of former ministers entering the private sector. He has been appointed as a director of Allan Gray and as an adviser for Thebe Investment Corporation.
One of his predecessors, Trevor Manuel, was appointed as non-executive director of SABMiller in 2015. He is also the deputy chair of Rothschild in South Africa.
Some experts are warning, however, that these types of appointments and the promise of future positions after their political careers, could also create ethical problems.
Piet Croucamp, of the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Political and International Affairs, said there is a substantial danger that an improper relationship could develop between companies and government when former politicians serve on boards of directors.
In Croucamp’s view one should distinguish between skilled people like Nene and those who are mere career politicians.