Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: REUTERS
Mcebisi Jonas. Picture: REUTERS

Northam Platinum has scored a significant victory for its corporate brand, joining MTN in appointing former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas to its board.

The move was a good one, at a time when companies in the sector are navigating an often tumultuous relationship with the government and communities, said labour and mining analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane.

The third Mining Charter, though pending, was likely to have further guidelines on diversity of representation in governance, she said.

"Jonas is a very well-respected former public servant, who comes from a financial background, and the fact that his experience is not from a mining background could also count in his favour," Molopyane told Business Day.

On Monday, Northam also announced the appointment of former Aquarius Platinum CEO Jean Nel, who had successfully led the disposal of Aquarius to Sibanye in 2016.

Jonas and Nel bring significant experience and expertise and would strengthen the board’s diversity and independence, said Northam board chair Brian Mosehla.

Jonas, a key whistle-blower who helped expose SA’s state capture scandal, has been in the news recently testifying before the Zondo commission. Besides serving on Northam’s and MTN’s boards as an independent nonexecutive director, Jonas is one of four independent presidential envoys appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to attract investors to SA.

Jonas, who is also a former chair and nonexecutive director of the Public Investment Corporation, had not responded to a request for comment on his appointment on Monday.

On May 7, MTN appointed Jonas along with Swazi Tshabalala as nonexecutive directors.