Bruce Ramfolo joins SITA


Former Department of Defence procurement chief Bruce Ramfolo is to join the State IT Agency as temporary chief of regulatory affairs and procurement.

He will replace Peter Pedlar whose contract is coming to an end, at he beginning of November, ITWeb reports.

SITA spokeswoman Anthea Summers confirmed that Ramfolo was “shadowing” Pedlar, and would take over the position – as interim head of this portfolio – from the beginning of November.

Ramfolo is expected to remain in the position until the appointment of a permanent candidate.

Summers refused to be drawn on reasons for SITA’s decision to let Pedlar go, saying the matter is a confidential issue “between employer and employee and, as such, SITA will not comment on contracts”.

Pedlar would not comment on the situation either, referring all questions to the agency’s communications department.

Ramfolo was appointed chief of defence acquisitions in 2002, following the resignation of Shamin “Chippy” Shaik, who stepped down in light of the controversy surrounding the country’s multibillion-rand arms deal.

Prior to that, Ramfolo worked for Armscor since 1996, where he was the acquisition manager of the Corvette Project. Ramfolo declined to renew his contract, according to late defence secretary January Masilela, and left the Department of Defence last year.

The move not to retain the services of Pedlar – a long-serving executive at SITA – is expected to deepen the agency’s leadership dearth and further disrupt management continuity.

SITA, the state’s information technology acquisition agency has long struggled to retain a stable leadership structure, having gone through numerous acting and permanent CEOs during its 10 years of existence, and losing many experienced executives along the way. Mavuso Msimang, the current Home Affairs director-general, is the only SITA CEO to date to serve out his contract. He left the agency in May 2007.

Msimang’s departure again created a leadership void, as his position was filled by Pedlar, in an acting capacity. Pedlar’s tenure lasted five months and SITA came under fire during this period for dragging its feet in regard to finding a permanent replacement. Msimang had given the agency several months’ warning that he did not intend to renew his contract when it expired.