SOUTH AFRICA – Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has appointed Tshokolo Nchocho, the Industrial Development Corporation’s outgoing CEO, as the board of directors’ chairperson.

Nchocho’s appointment to the board was announced by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the chairperson of the Transnet Board, Andile Sangqu.

“This latest appointment serves as further affirmation of our commitment to enhance TNPA’s strategic position by equipping it with a depth of skills, knowledge and experience that will support our efforts to improve our ports and boost their contribution to the economy,” Gordhan said.

Nchocho will join seven other executive and non-executive directors on the board.

“We look forward to Mr Nchocho’s contribution as we work to turnaround Transnet into a formidable catalyst for driving the country’s economic development and competitiveness,” Transnet chair Sangqu said.

“His experience adds a further positive dimension to the leadership base that is already on the TNPA Board.”

According to the department, Nchocho brings a wealth of experience to the board.

He has over 20 years’ experience in the economic development finance and banking arena. Prior to joining the IDC, he was CEO of the Land and Agricultural Development Bank.

Additionally, he holds a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) from UNISA School of Business, a MSc Finance (University of London-UK), as well as an Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard University.

Transnet SOC Ltd is a public company with the South African Government as the sole shareholder and owns South Africa’s railway, ports, and pipelines infrastructure.

The logistics company is struggling to reverse a collapse that has hobbled economic growth in the country.

According to a recently published news article by CNBC, Tansnet’s underperformance has seen freight volumes decline to 150 million metric tons in 2022/23 from 226 million tons in the 2017/18 financial year.

Transnet has R130 billion (USD 8.7 billion) in debt and recorded a loss of R5.7 billion (USD 53.4 million) in the financial year to March.

The company has, however, requested a bailout from the state of about 100 billion rand (USD 5.3 billion) over the next two years. 

Its turnaround plan includes splitting the freight rail subsidiary into two – an infrastructure management company and an operating unit.

The company will make another attempt to open parts of its rail network to private operators after last year’s false start.

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