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HomeInformationNewsMichelle Phillips is officially the Group Chief Executive of Transnet SOC

Michelle Phillips is officially the Group Chief Executive of Transnet SOC

The Board of Transnet SOC Ltd. yesterday announced the appointment of a dynamic and experienced leadership team for the company led by Michelle Phillips who steps into the role of Group Chief Executive.

Transnet SOC Limited has long been plagued by inefficiencies in the operation of its ports and freight train services, both of which are vital for the movement of various commodities and cargo in and out of South Africa.

These inefficiencies led the World Bank to rank the ports of Ngqura, Durban, and Cape Town at 338, 341, and 344 respectively out of 348 ports for efficiency in their Container Port Performance Index 2022.

Transnet’s debt totaling a reportedly staggering 130 billion rand, coupled with a loss of 5.7 billion rands in the last financial year, paints a picture of chronic mismanagement that has been carrying on over several years or decades by many accounts.

Michelle Phillips brings over two decades of in-house experience and a profound understanding of the operational intricacies of Transnet.

The appointment of Michelle Phillips has been met with elation, support, and enthusiasm by many quarters of the export, logistics, and freight industry of South Africa.

Aside from her experience as a Legal Advisor for the Transnet Port business, Michelle was also part of the NAVIS TOS implementation team at Pier 1 Container Terminal eventually becoming the Terminal Manager of the first RTG Container terminal in South Africa.

Michelle Phillips will be ably supported by

  • Ms Nosipho Maphumulo as Group Chief Financial Officer
  • Mr Russell Baatjies as Chief Executive: Transnet Freight Rail

Nosipho Maphumulo takes on the mantle of Group Chief Financial Officer, transitioning from her impactful tenure at Eskom Rotek Industries and has an extensive background in financial stewardship and is a well-recognized operational strategist, change catalyst and trusted advisor, with extensive public and private sector experience.

Her expertise will be much needed in driving Transnet’s financial strategies and fostering a culture of transparency and efficiency.

Russell Baatjies assumes the role of Chief Executive of Transnet Freight Rail. Baatjies’s ascension from the shop floor to the executive suite epitomizes a journey of relentless ambition and deep-seated knowledge of the rail industry.

His previous accomplishments within Transnet highlight his capacity to innovate and drive strategic initiatives, making him a perfect fit for spearheading the freight rail division’s resurgence.

A Vision for the Future

As per Transnet, these appointments are more than just filling positions and bring leadership stability and add new impetus to the timely implementation of the Transnet Recovery Plan and the Freight Logistics Roadmap.

The new leadership at Transnet is expected to harness their collective experience and insights to steer the trouble SOE toward sustainable growth and reinforce its pivotal role in South Africa’s economic landscape.

Commenting on the appointment, the Chairperson of the Transnet Board, Mr Andile Sangqu said “With the support of the Shareholder, the Board and key stakeholders, the new leadership team is fully equipped to drive transformative change, enhance operational efficiency, and restore Transnet to its rightful position as an enabler of economic growth and development.

The Board welcomes the stability and certainty provided by the conclusion of the appointments, as it means Transnet can focus fully on driving implementation of the Recovery Plan, for the sustained improvement in the operational and financial performance of the company,” adds Sangqu.

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