CHAMPION of economic development projects in Uitenhage and Despatch, Nomkhita Mona, has resigned as chief executive of the UDDI.
After five years with the agency, Mona – who was instrumental in attracting major investments to Uitenhage and Despatch – is moving on to be the chief executive of the South African Forestry Company (Safcol) whose head office is in Pretoria.
Mona said the position at Safcol came at a time when she was looking at exploring new challenges. She also thinks the UDDI could do with some fresh leadership thinking.
"In a dynamic environment such as that in which we operate, it is important to keep infusing fresh ideas and new thinking. The UDDI will succeed in carrying the economic development agenda forward," she said.
UDDI chief financial officer Richard Gibson has been appointed the acting CEO until the process of appointing a permanent one is concluded.
Advertisements for the post are expected next week.
Mona does not foresee her resignation causing a major upset in the agency.
"Due to the fact that my leadership style was largely inclusive and that the ideas we drove were those of the team, I don't foresee a major shift from the agreed upon direction of the organisation.
"What is required is an injection of new, exciting, passionate energy to ensure that the momentum is not broken. Of course it is expected that the new leader brings her/his own new ideas to enrich what we already have," she said.
"The UDDI has a long-term strategy which gives guidance into what deliverables the company must achieve.
"The UDDI is gearing itself towards growth and expansion in terms of its work within Nelson Mandela Bay. There are also a number of exciting new areas of operation which the UDDI has identified as a key area of opportunity into the organisation's future.
"The UDDI is populated by employees who are passionate about development for the region and will definitely achieve the objectives the organisation has set for itself."
Mona said there were a number of projects that were ready to be launched shortly, such as the newly renovated and revamped old Railway Sheds which houses the Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre.
She said there were also a number of high-impact infrastructure development projects, including community development and job creation projects.
While she intends to be focused on her new job at Safcol, Mona said she would continue with her work as a commissioner of the Eastern Cape Planning Commission, as well as other charitable work within the Wilderness Foundation of SA, based in Port Elizabeth.
"In terms of my other board memberships, I will be in discussion with my board at Safcol to see in which ones I would need to reconsider my involvement."
Mona has vast experience in business. She was an associate consultant for an international consulting company.
Other top positions she has held include CEO of Inkezo Land Company, in Durban, and CEO of the Eastern Cape Tourism Board.
She was also the registrar of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in Mpumalanga, and former deputy president of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.
Mona was the first black woman to sit on the board of Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Holdings in South Africa.