Sipho Nkosi
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Sipho Nkosi

CHAIRPERSON: Talent10 Holdings

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‘I don’t think red tape will go away, but we will minimise it to make it easier for South Africans to get excited about building businesses’

SIPHO Nkosi’s resignation as Sasol chairperson late in 2023 was a setback for the energy company, which is also searching for a successor to the incumbent CEO, Fleetwood Grobler, whose term comes to an end after this year. Nkosi resigned as he was concerned about the perception of a conflict of interest regarding an investment in Kinetiko Energy, an Australian gas explorer based in Perth. Kinetiko received a R75m investment from Talent10, a holding company founded and chaired by Nkosi. Kinetiko focuses on coal bed methane and has a block located on the border of Sasol’s Secunda plant.

There is the possibility that Kinetiko could in future provide gas to the Secunda plant. In a newspaper editorial, Nkosi was described as a “rare gem” who had steered Sasol successfully through a period of debt reduction and diversification of its portfolio. But Nkosi’s relevance extends far beyond his private equity interests: in 2022, he was appointed by President Cyril Ramphosa as head of the government’s Red Tape Task Team. Another well-intentioned but ultimately fruitless ‘committee’ by Rampahosa? Maybe. By Nkosi’s own admission, progress has been slow but if there’s something South Africa’s mining industry needs it’s less bureaucracy.

Nkosi’s job isn’t helped by structural deficits: mining industry legislation is unfriendly to entrepreneurs, its lack of a working mining cadastre is disastrous to new investors, and a philosophy stacked against foreign capital is fatal to the sector. Amid these pressures, Nkosi is the best antidote we have: blessed with presence (helped in no small measure by a resounding baritone), he is a critical bridge between the private and public sectors.


Nkosi holds an Honours degree in Economics from Unisa and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. He has close to four decades’ experience on the operational, financial, logistics and marketing side of the extraction and energy sectors in both South Africa and abroad. He was CEO at Exxaro Resources for 10 years, is a former president of the then Chamber of Mines and served on the board of Sanlam. He also chaired the Small Business Institute. In 2019 Nkosi was elected chairperson of Sasol, a position he held until 2023.

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