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Tuesday, 13 February 2024 11:52

PetroSA appoints new acting CEO as Gazprom deal draws closer.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

State-owned Petroleum Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) has appointed acting COO Sesakho Magadla as acting group CEO with immediate effect.

This follows former acting CEO Sandisiwe Ncemane's return to the Central Energy Fund (CEF).

According to the PetroSA board, the acting appointments "are interim, pending the official appointment of a [CEO] by the shareholder."

The company advises that a permanent group CEO appointment is imminent.

A new CEO has already been selected and the name submitted to cabinet for approval by mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe.

"We submitted the name of a CEO in November", and they will be appointed once the cabinet gives its approval, Mantashe said.

Ncemane was competing with Chairman Nkululeko Poya for the post, said the people familiar with the decision.

Poya is said to be favoured for the role by Mantashe, and Danny Stimela, an acting manager in the CEO's office, is also a contender, the people added.

PetroSA, which has made a series of losses, courted controversy by selecting a unit of Russia's Gazprom Group to help revive its gas-to-liquid fuel refinery in the southern town of Mossel Bay.

Cabinet endorsed the decision, in a move that's likely irked the US, which has imposed sanctions on the state-owned Russian firm.

Four foreign banks told PetroSA they will sever relations with the company if it proceeds, Africa Intelligence reported.

The US is South Africa's second-biggest trade partner and has criticized the African country’s relationship with Russia.

A final investment decision will be made in the next two months, people familiar with the situation said, asking not to be identified as a public announcement hasn't been made.

With inputs from Bloomberg.