Former coal boss Sipho Nkosi appointed by SA’s Ramaphosa to cut government red tape

Sipho Nkosi

FORMER Exxaro Resources CEO, Sipho Nkosi has been appointed to South Africa’s Presidency where he will lead an initiative to cut government redtape aimed at promoting ease of doing business in the country and with the state.

The appointment was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as part of his annual State of the Nation Address in which he reiterated his administration’s interest in placing the private sector at the centre of job creation.

“Low economic growth and investment in the country as well as unreliable electricity supply have heightened the unemployment statistics,” said Ramaphosa earlier in his address in Cape Town. “The work of government is to create a conductive environment for the private sector to invest and create jobs.”

Nkosi ran Exxaro from 2008 to 2016 in which the company became a prominent supplier of thermal coal to Eskom, as well as the domestic and export coal markets. After leaving Exxaro, he established a private equity firm and cooperated in the development small business enterprise. He also currently serves on the board of petrochemical firm Sasol where he is its chairman and a non-executive director.

In an address that was heavy on plans to bring about further reform, Ramaphosa said public sector processes were unkind to private enterprise without which the country could not hope to prosper.

“The Business Act is currently under review together with other regulatory framework which makes it difficult to do business,” said Ramaphosa. “We need regulations that will reduce the red tape.

“The Red Tape team is appointed to make sure that processes are simplified,” said Ramaphosa who earlier said government would make it easier to apply for Water Use licences, one of the bane’s of the mining sector’s mine licencing regulations.

“We’ve launched institutional reforms to recapacitate water infrastructure and there will be a streamlined process for dealing with water use licence applications,” Ramaphosa said.