Michelle Phillips Transnet’s new GCEO – Pravin Gordhan

Public Enterprises Minister says Nosipho Maphumulo has been appointed CFO

Minister Pravin Gordhan announces Transnet GCEO and CFO

28 Feb 2024

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Michelle Phillips as Transnet’s Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) and Ms Nosipho Maphumulo as the Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

“These are critical appointments which represent our steadfast commitment as government to equip Transnet with a competent and experienced executive leadership team to drive the strategic interventions that the Board has put in place as part of the Transnet recovery plan,” Minister Gordhan said.

Ms Phillips is currently acting as the Group Chief Executive of Transnet, and there has been improvements in the performance of ports and rails while she was acting. She leads the entire business operations and the leadership team. Ms Phillips is well regarded by the market as a problem solver with good networks. She has a track record of being a team player and collaborator to achieve business objectives. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in Transnet in various roles and she knows what it takes to turn the business around.

Ms. Michelle Phillips held roles such as Continuous Improvement Manager at Transnet National Ports Authority, Regional Legal and Contracts Manager at Transnet Port Terminals, and Business Unit Executive at Pier 1 Container Terminal from 2001 to 2010.

Afterward, Ms. Phillips served as Executive Head and General Manager at Transnet Port Terminals until November 2017. Subsequently, she took on the role of General Manager: Customer Growth & Freight Solutions at Transnet until August 2019. From August 2019 to June 2020, she acted as Chief Executive for Transnet Port Terminals and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Transnet Pipelines since August 2020.

When she joined Transnet Pipelines as the Chief Executive Officer, she found an Operating Division with poor governance, theft, spillage and poor performance and she has turned that around to date. At Transnet Pipelines she has achieved for the first time a green audit report status on supply chain which means the business is clean and without deviations from governance.

She has saved the business R1,5bn over a period of 18 months. Michelle completed the long outstanding LNG terminals and SAPREF tanks in a short space of time upon her appointment as CE: Transnet Pipelines.

Ms Maphumulo is a highly accomplished business leader, financial steward, operational strategist, change catalyst and trusted advisor, offering extensive experience, providing sound financial and commercial guidance in complex and demanding environments. She has experience in financial management in a large complex commercial organization.

Minister Gordhan thanked the Board led by the Chairperson, Mr Andile Sangqu, for steering the recruitment process in an expeditious manner and for ensuring that the requisite skills and experience are brought into Transnet to add impetus to the reforms aimed at recovering rail volumes, improving port operations and stabilising Transnet finances.

“Transnet plays an important catalytic role in the South African economy. We are confident that these appointments will provide Transnet with the strategic direction and the ability to execute on its ongoing reforms, including the implementation of the provisions of the Freight Logistics Roadmap which envisages the granting of access for private rail operators soon,” said Minister Gordhan.

Statement issued by Ellis Mnyandu, Department of Public Enterprises, 28 February 2024