Sasol, SA’s biggest private-sector polluter, has a new boss. Simon Baloyi, who takes over from Fleetwood Grobler in April 2024, inherits a group under intense pressure from investors and activists to cut its carbon emissions.

Sure, Baloyi’s appointment is a laudable effort at racial diversity, as it reflects the company’s commitment to transformation and inclusion and its recognition of the talent and potential of black people in the energy sector. But it is hard to shake the feeling that it is also a poisoned chalice...

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