In what might come as a shock to some South Africans in the farming sector, Mzansi’s land and agricultural development bank announced last night that two of its senior executives have resigned. Ayanda Kanana has resigned as CEO and Dr Litha Magingxa as executive manager: agricultural economics and advisory. Magingxa is also stepping away from his position as acting executive manager: strategy and communication.
The news, for which no reasons were mentioned, came in a statement late last night – a little over two months after the end of the previous board’s term on 30 November 2021 and the Land Bank’s welcoming of its new board of directors in December.
Cabinet also approved the appointment of agricultural economist Thabi Nkosi as the new chairperson of the board, while Lehlogonolo Makenete was appointed as deputy chairperson.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank the departing members of our team and express our appreciation for their contributions as they pursue new opportunities,” Nkosi was quoted in the statement.
CEO since 2020
Kanana joined the Bank on 1 March 2020 at a very difficult time and has been instrumental in the efforts to turn the institution around. Kanana will be serving out his notice period until the end of April this year.
According to the Land Bank’s statement, it recorded significant progress under Kanana’s leadership in critical areas of the bank’s stabilisation efforts in collaboration with funders and with the support of National Treasury.
By the same token, the statement continues, Magingxa’s four years at the Land Bank have yielded greatly improved effectiveness in the entity’s advisory services and strategy division as the entity navigates the current set of challenges.
The Land Bank has been facing significant financial woes in recent years. This has resulted in the bank not fulfilling its mandate as the developmental bank for South Africa’s agricultural sector.
However, the board has assured South Africans of its commitment to finding solutions, curing its state of default, and getting back to fulfilling its developmental mandate.
“The Board is working expeditiously to resolve the Land Bank’s financial challenges and is excited about the future of the Land Bank as it navigates this final lap towards the full resumption of operations,” Nkosi said.
The bank is engaging with the minister of finance to ensure leadership continuity.
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