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February 29, 2024
SA business welcomes Phillips as Transnet CEO

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SOUTH Africa’s business community welcomed the appointment of Michelle Phillips as Transnet CEO saying it would help maintain momentum as the ports and rail operator tried to improve its performance.

The appointment was announced by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday evening. Gordhan also announced the appointment of Nosipho Maphumulo as the group CFO.

Phillips, who has more than 20 years’ experience working at Transnet, most recently as CEO of Transnet Pipelines, was appointed acting CEO after several high-level resignations last year. These included former CEO Portia Derby, CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini, chair Popo Molefe and Transnet Freight Rail CEO Siza Mzimela.

“These are critical appointments which represent our steadfast commitment as government to equip Transnet with a competent and experienced executive leadership team to drive the strategic interventions that the board has put in place as part of the Transnet recovery plan,” Gordhan said.

Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership SA (BLSA) was “relieved, elated and happy” with Phillips’ appointment, according to a report by BusinessLive. “We are fully supportive and stand behind her as the business community. Since she has been in this position [in an acting capacity] we have worked extraordinarily well with her.

“She has been part of the critical work that we are doing on the transport logistics workstream and she has fully embraced ‘business’ as a partner. This is someone who understands that for the critical turnaround of the entity, government and Transnet can’t do it on its own,” Mavuso said.

Cas Coovadia, CEO of Business Unity SA, said they welcomed the appointment. “We have been working with [Phillips] since she was appointed acting CEO and her commitment to working with the private sector to begin to turn things around [at Transnet] has been good, and we have worked well with her”.

Coovadia told BusinessLive he was reassured by public statements made by Phillips that Transnet needed to open up more space for private sector participation.

The National Treasury has provided Transnet with an R47bn guarantee facility to support its recovery plan and to meet its debt obligations, but it provided for no bailout in the 2024/25 budget, said BusinessLive.

The post SA business welcomes Phillips as Transnet CEO appeared first on Miningmx.

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