EDITORIAL: Sasol loses a rare gem in Nkosi
Chair quits energy giant, citing potential conflicts of interest
Sipho Nkosi, the chair of Sasol, has quit the SA energy giant, citing potential conflicts of interest. His departure is a blow for Sasol, which is grappling with a host of challenges related to the energy transition.
Nkosi became Sasol’s chair in 2019. He led the company through a strategic overhaul to reduce debt, improve efficiency and diversify its portfolio. His resignation comes at a critical juncture for Sasol, which is facing multiple headwinds.
The company is searching for a new CEO as the incumbent Fleetwood Grobler’s term is due to expire at the end of 2024. It also faces pressure from environmental activists and regulators, who want it to accelerate its shift to cleaner energy sources.
Even so, Nkosi’s decision to step down is understandable, given his concern about the perception of conflicts of interest. He resigned from his position because of his investment in Kinetiko Energy, a gas exploration company, Bloomberg reported.
Kinetiko announced on September 4 that it had received A$6.5m (about R75m) in funding from Talent10, an investment firm chaired by Nkosi. Kinetiko has a block adjacent to Sasol’s Secunda facility and has indicated the possibility of supplying gas to the plant from its fields in that block.
Sasol is at a crossroads, where it has to balance its short-term profitability and its long-term sustainability. It has to do all this without the guidance and leadership of Nkosi. Whoever takes over from him will have big shoes to fill.
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