Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rise and Fall of Dr Benny Mokaba at Sasol Limited

Sasol appointed Dr Benny Mokaba, right, as an executive director in May 2006, where he assumed responsibility for the company's energy businesses in South Africa, including Sasol's synfuels, mining, Secunda shared services, gas, and liquid fuels businesses. Dr Mokaba was also appointed as a member of both the Sasol Limited board, the group executive committee and as a director of various group companies and divisions.

Dr Benny Mokaba resigned as director of Sasol Limited on October 14, 2009 and left the company entirely on January 1, 2010.

(, 3/24/2006, TradingMarkets, 9/2009)

Twistdraai Mine and Washing Plant: BEE History

The Twistdraai mine and washing plant is part of Sasol Mining's Secunda Collieries complex. Lying in the Highveld coalfield, east of Johannesburg, the mine was opened in 1980 to produce coal for Sasol's Secunda synthesis plant, and since 1995 has been a three-shaft complex producing low-ash steam coal for the export market as well as a middlings product for Sasol feed.

In 2006, ownership of Twistdraai was transferred to a new Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) company, Igoda Resources, formed as a joint venture between Sasol Mining (65%) and Exxaro Resources (35%). The new company has also inherited Sasol Mining's export allocation through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, and plans to produce some 3.6Mt/y of export-quality coal, plus up to 4Mt/y of middlings for sale to Sasol. Sasol Mining, which produced 46.2Mt of coal in all its operations in the year to June 2006, will act as Igoda Coal's mining contractor and will handle the company's export marketing.

In September 2009, Sasol announced it was losing its black economic empowerment (BEE) partnership with Exxaro. The black-controlled JSE-listed Exxaro is South Africa's largest coal producer. It was announced that Exxaro would no longer be participating in the Igoda joint venture, due to the economic climate and other financial commitments that Exxaro has. Exxaro said its decision to withdraw from the Igoda coal-export venture with Sasol Mining had followed its capital expenditure prioritisation review, in the light of the global economic downturn.

Ironically, Exxaro and Sasol have entered into a prospecting joint venture to develop a new coal mine to supply Sasol's proposed coal-to-liquids Mafutha project in Limpopo province. (, 9/14/2009)

26% Black Ownership of Mines By 2014 Is A "Base"

Sandile Nogxina, left, director general of the Department of Mineral Resources, says the requirement that South African mines be at least 26 percent black-owned by 2014 is a "base" and the proportion will need to be higher to "deracialize" the industry. Nogxina wants the South African mining industry ito be totally reflective of the South African demographics.

South Africa's government is pressuring companies to increase black participation in the economy to help make up for apartheid when the country's black majority was largely prevented from owning assets in Africa's largest economy. By law mining companies operating in the country should have sold 15 percent of their assets to black investors by 2009 and must be at a minimum of 26 percent by 2014.

South Africa is the world's biggest producer of platinum, ferrochrome, manganese and vanadium and is the largest producer of gold in Africa. Mining companies including London-based Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton Ltd., Xstrata Plc, Anglo Platinum Ltd. and Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. have assets in the country. (, 4/2/2010)

Mosima Gabriel "Tokyo" Sexwale

Mosima Gabriel Sexwale, left, commonly known as Tokyo Sexwale, is the current Minister of Human Settlements of South Africa. His nickname of "Tokyo" is derived from his involvement with the sport of karate as a youth. On 10 May 2009, South Africa's new President Jacob Zuma appointed the veteran Sexwale as Minister of Human Settlements.

Sexwale founded Mvelaphanda Holdings, a company of which he is still executive chairman that primarily focuses on the mining, energy and related sectors. He has been granted concessions across Africa and Russia for diamond and energy extractions and these interests are controlled by a subsidiary of Mvelaphanda Holdings called Mvelaphanda Resources, of which he is chairman. Sexwale has become a major player in the diamond industry, with his company reportedly being the third biggest after De Beers and JFPI Corporation.

In 2005, Sexwale hosted the South African version of "The Apprentice," on SABC3.

Sexwale has two children by a first wife, and two children by his second wife, Judy Van Vuuren. (Wiki)

Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe

Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe, right, is a South African mining business man. His company, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), has interests in gold, ferrous metals, base metals, and platinum. Over 15 years Motsepe turned a low-level mining services business into the country's first black-owned mining company, African Rainbow Minerals, with 2007 revenue of $875 million. Driven by the Asian commodities boom, ARM's share price has rocketed in the past year from $12 to $24, pushing the value of Motsepe's net worth to $2.4 billion. Motsepe, a lawyer by training, serves as ARM's executive chairman, with a 42% stake in the company. He also owns a 5.5% stake worth $295 million in Sanlam, a publicly traded financial services company outside Cape Town.

He graduated from the University of Swaziland and then became one of the few black law graduates of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 1988 he joined Bowman Gilfillan, one of South Africa's largest corporate law firms and in 1993 he became the firm's first black partner.

He is married to Dr. Precious Makgosi Moloi and they have three children.

(Wiki, Forbes, 3/24/2008))

Blacks and Mining in South Africa

The South African mining industry is still predominantly white controlled. Unlike most countries in the world, private individuals own most of South Africa’s mineral rights (typically farmers and large mining companies who have mineral right options). Currently, two thirds of South Africa’s mineral rights are privately owned, with the remainder vested in the State. This situation has effectively prevented expanding minerals development under Black ownership via two processes:

1) The owner of the mineral rights (usually farmers) refuses to allow access to the property, as he owns these rights.

2) Often farms are heavily subdivided, thus making it virtually impossible to locate the rightful owners.

A new emphasis is being placed on stimulating black empowerment in the mining industry. Several black or union owned firms are now beginning to play an important role in the industry. This is particularly the case following the impending legislation of the Minerals Bill that favours involvement of previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa's mineral resources.

Anglo American’s unbundling of JCI was seen as the first step in black empowerment in the South African mining industry. However, this failed to takeoff and as a result, JCI has ended up a shell of its former self, composed of a few gold property holdings and investments.

Mvelaphanda, with Tokyo Sexwale, a prominent black businessman at the helm, has become one of South Africa's most successful empowerment resource companies. To date it has acquired interests in developing platinum, energy and diamond resources in South Africa.

African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), a company formed in 1997 by Patrice Motsepe acquired several shafts from AngloGolds Vaal Reefs. ARM are also jointly developing a platinum mine with Anglo Platinum as well as entering a joint venture with Harmony Gold to exploit several Free State assets acquired from AngloGold.

The entry of foreign investment into South Africa has been slow since the country's first democratic elections in 1994. This has been due to a variety of reasons including the minerals legislation, uncertainty over the economic situation and the high crime rate. However, the situation is changing and many junior exploration companies are now active in developing several small to medium scale operations, mainly in diamonds, gold and platinum. (Mbendi)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

AAEA South Africa Is Here

There are many energy and environmental issues facing South Africa.

The African American Environmentalist Association is committed to aggressively addressing these issues.