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Minerals Council welcomes permanent Transnet leadership appointments

The Minerals Council South Africa has expressed its congratulations to Michelle Phillips and Nosipho Maphumulo on their permanent appointments as Transnet's chief executive officer and chief financial officer, respectively.
Michelle Phillips has been made permanent CEO of Transnet.
Michelle Phillips has been made permanent CEO of Transnet.

The Council praised its past collaboration with Phillips during her tenure as acting CEO and expressed its confidence in building upon this positive relationship.

They emphasised the urgency of addressing challenges faced by the railways and ports, which are critical for the mining sector and the broader South African economy.

It also welcomed Maphumulo's appointment as CFO, noting her crucial role in implementing the Transnet Recovery Plan.

Source: Archive
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They highlighted the mining industry's significant contribution to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), accounting for roughly 80% of its annual revenue.

The Council acknowledged the progress made by the National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC) under the Presidency, in which they actively participate in four critical corridor optimisation initiatives aimed at stabilising rail performance for coal, chrome, iron ore, and manganese mines.

Move from road to rail

It is vital to return bulk commodities to rail, given the environmental and economic disadvantages of relying on road transport and the Minerals Council reaffirmed its commitment to collaborating with the NLCC as part of the Business for South Africa team, emphasising the positive progress made on regulations and policy.

Recent developments like Cabinet's approval of the Freight Logistics Roadmap and the Rail Private Sector Participation (PSP) framework, alongside the establishment of an Interim Infrastructure Manager by Transnet. These initiatives, they believe, are crucial in unlocking private sector participation in rail and port operations.

The Council pointed to "green shoots" of progress, citing examples of successful collaboration with Transnet under Mutual Cooperation Agreements.

These agreements allow customers to assist TFR with procuring spare parts, as demonstrated by Richards Bay Coal Terminal's procurement of batteries and compressors to improve locomotive reliability.

Sasol funding

Additionally, Sasol's commitment to funding the repair and maintenance of a dedicated fleet of rail tankers for ammonia transportation further exemplifies the positive collaboration between the private sector and Transnet.

There’s also the positive impact of National Treasury's R47bn guarantee facility for Transnet and the deployment of technical experts from the private sector, contributing to the implementation of global best practices at Transnet's operations.

The Minerals Council South Africa remains optimistic about the future of Transnet and the broader South African economy under the leadership of Phillips and Maphumulo, coupled with the ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors.

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