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Transnet appoints Lekau Letsoalo as COO

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Johnathan Paoli

Transnet has announced the appointment of Lekau ‘Solly’ Letsoalo as group Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Group’s CEO Michelle Phillips said on Thursday the parastatal was happy about the appointment of Letsoalo who has experience in running several entities.

“It is great to welcome Letsoalo back to Transnet and be able to draw on his global knowledge of the logistics industry at such an important time in our organisation’s history,” Phillips said.

She added that Letsoalo’s global experience would prove beneficial and that he holds extensive knowledge of Transnet’s business operations.

“While at TPT, he achieved significant milestones such as expanding the Pier 2 Container Terminal, constructing the Pier 1 terminal, building the Ngqura Container Terminal, and modernising the Cape Town Container Terminal,” Phillips said.

Phillips said Letsoalo’s global exposure, including learning experiences in the USA, UK, Belgium, Germany, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan, has further enriched his leadership capabilities.

Letsoalo was a former COO of Transnet Port Terminals and spent 14 years in the private sector as managing director at Aveng Manufacturing, and more recently, as CEO at Cargo Carriers.

While reporting to Phillips, Letsoalo is expected to work with the chief executives of all Transnet’s operating divisions, as well as those responsible for group safety, security and digital transformation.

This comes on the heels of the utility losing a high court case earlier in the week, against Sasol Oil and Total Energies, following Transnet’s alleged breach, over a number of years, of an obligation to set pipeline tariffs for conveyance of crude oil in terms of an agreement that had been entered into between the parties in 1991.

Damages in the amount of R3.8 billion plus interest amounting to approximately R2.3 billion were awarded to Sasol Oil; while Total Energies was awarded damages of R2.1 billion as well as interest.

Transnet has indicated that it intends to appeal the judgement and is in the process of instructing its legal team accordingly.

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