Friday, March 24, 2017
Mxolisi Mgojo

Mxolisi Mgojo

Exxaro Resources

MGOJO has wasted no time imposing his vision and style on Exxaro Resources since taking the leadership last year from distinguished, wise-cracking predecessor, Sipho Nkosi. The acquisition of Total Group’s South African coal mines has increased Exxaro’s exposure to export coal and lessened its reliance on Eskom sales. In respect of Eskom, Mgojo has sought a measured approach to the challenges and provocations it poses, but Eskom’s selective abandonment of cost plus coal contracts has tested Mgojo’s patience. The failure of the Mayoko iron ore venture in the Republic of Congo has sent Mgojo to look for diversification in energy, as well as water and land. He talks about opportunities to invest in new technologies rather than assets. Making the transition into a high-technology company may seem a very large step, but as a marker look no further than Exxaro’s independent power production subsidiary, Cennergi. A more immediate issue is Eskom criticism of Exxaro’s empowerment restructuring which took black ownership down to 30% from 50%. This reminds us: Mgojo was at the vanguard of Exxaro’s pioneering BEE deal 10 years ago. He, therefore, may find the challenges posed by Exxaro’s BEE 2.0 – and government’s reception to it – equally pioneering, especially in how it shows other mining companies what to expect of government as the tide of populism rises.

LIFE OF MOLISI

He studied computer science at Northeastern University in the US and was responsible for marketing and logistics at Eyesizwe Coal, the black empowerment company that became one of Exxaro’s major shareholders, before becoming the head of Exxaro’s carbon business in 2008. He holds qualifications in energy studies and an MBA.

“Today we have abundant coal and it is cheap, but it will be displaced.”