Black business formations hail key appointments of Mkhwanazi, Zikalala

Mpho Koka Journalist
Mpumi Zikalala will take over as CEO at Kumba Irone Ore.
Mpumi Zikalala will take over as CEO at Kumba Irone Ore. 
Image: Supplied

Black business formations have hailed the appointments of two black executives to senior leadership positions in the mining sector as a source of hope for young black professionals.

Themba Mkhwanazi, the outgoing CEO of Kumba Iron Ore, has been appointed new CEO Bulk Commodities at Anglo American, while Mpumi Zikalala will take over as CEO at Kumba Irone Ore. 

Their appointments are effective from January.

Khangi Khoza was appointed CEO of Swissport SA – a company that provides airport ground services and cargo handling. She is the first woman to hold the position.

Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane said there is a need for transformation at Anglo American and Swissport.

“We should applaud both Anglo and Swissport for these bold appointments. These are two white male-dominated industries that desperately need transformation. The appointments are very significant as they give hope to black children that things are possible,” said Matabane.

“We need more role models and more blacks and women in operational roles. Other companies should learn from them.”

He said the rise of more black people in operational positions in the corporate sector will enable emerging black businesses to be prioritised for procurement of services.

Black Management Forum (BMF) president Andile Nomlala described the appointments of Mkhwanazi and Zikalala as a move that advances the empowerment of black professionals and women.

Themba Mkhwanazi, the outgoing CEO of Kumba Iron Ore.
Themba Mkhwanazi, the outgoing CEO of Kumba Iron Ore.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

“The mining industry in South Africa remains the bedrock of the South African economic system, and these key appointments attest to the progressive profile of leadership at the helm of strategic businesses. The appointment of Nolitha Fakude as the first woman to chair the management board of Anglo American has opened the door in a new wave of black professionals who are capable and competent to lead in the mining industry,” said Nomlala.

Nomala described Mkhwanazi and Zikalala as hardworking and seasoned black professionals who cut their teeth in the mining industry.

“Themba Mkhwanazi’s experience in the industry has seen him occupy key roles from chief operations officer of Richards Bay Minerals in 2007 to CEO of Kumba Iron Ore in 2016. His commitment to excellence and delivering results has seen him outperform his peers and engraved an indelible mark for black professionals. His academic preparation saw him bed down a bachelor of engineering (Hons) in chemical engineering from Teesside University in the United Kingdom,” said Nomlala.

“Mpumi Zikalala is a seasoned black professional and a trendsetter in the industry. She became the first woman to occupy a general management role at De Beers Kimberley Mines in 2007. She has also occupied key roles in the industry such as general manager of Voorspoed mine, senior vice-president of De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa to deputy managing director of De Beers Consolidated Mines…”

In September, there were two other notable appointments in the corporate sector as Unathi Mtya was appointed group chief information officer and member of the group executive committee of the African Bank. BMF member Esethu Mancotywa was appointed as the chief financial officer of Grinaker-LTA Group - a company in the engineering and construction field. 

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