Jabu Moleketi. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Jabu Moleketi. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

SA’s largest cement group, PPC, has announced the appointment of Jabu Moleketi as its new board chair, to replace Peter Nelson.

Moleketi is a former deputy finance minister and is currently also non-executive chairman of Brait as well as the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Vodacom and Harith General Partners.

PPC paid tribute to Nelson, saying that since his appointment in January 2015 he had successfully led the company through a turbulent period, most notably during the refinancing of the business following its liquidity problems.

PPC also announced on Friday the appointment of two other non-executive directors: Noluvuyo Mkhondo, an investment banking and corporate finance professional, and Antony Ball, the co-founder of Value Capital Partners.

Mkondo spent time at Goldman Sachs International and Anglo American in the UK where she was responsible for mergers and acquisition (M&A) execution, investment evaluation and strategic long-term financial planning.

Ball’s other notable business accomplishment was the founding and building of Brait.

Mkhondo and Ball are replacing Sydney Mhlarhi and Dawn Earp, both of whom have resigned.

An operating update that PPC released on February 2 said the cement maker had managed to lift group revenue in the nine months to end-December while it was fending off several potential suitors.

In mid-December PPC rejected global cement producer LafargeHolcim’s nonbinding proposal to buy a controlling stake in the group. It had also dealt with expressions of interest from Nigeria’s Dangote cement group and Irish group CRH, along with a joint partial offer from South African producer AfriSam and Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings.

A lack of large infrastructure projects in SA had continued to hamper volume growth, PPC said. In the rest of Africa, where it had been building up assets in previous years, it said robust growth in Rwanda had been maintained and the Zimbabwean business had grown.

PPC has 11 cement plants in SA, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.