THL BOARD CHAIRMAN TO STEP DOWN, INTERIM CHAIRMAN APPOINTED
23 May 2022
Mr Louis von Zeuner, Chairperson and Non Executive Director of the Tongaat Hulett board, has regrettably informed the board that he will not be available for re-election as Chairman at this year’s AGM due to a change in his personal circumstances.
Mr von Zeuner has consequently resigned as Chairman, but will remain on the board to assist with a smooth transition and handover until 30 June 2022. Mr von Zeuner will also resign as an independent non-executive director of the Company effective 30 June 2022. The Board has begun the process to identify a suitable replacement and shareholders will be advised as soon as an appointment has been made.
As a result of Tongaat’s succession planning processes, a seamless transition to Mr David Noko, who will assume the role of interim Chairperson, has already begun. Mr Noko has served as lead Non-Executive Director on the Tongaat board since 1 July 2020 and is currently the Lead Independent Non-Executive Director.
Mr Noko has an HND in Mechanical Engineering, an MDP and an MBA, and is the lead advisor at his consultancy company, ESG Advisory Limited. He was Executive Vice President at AngloGold Ashanti and has served as CEO of Air Chefs and Managing Director and CEO of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited. He served on the Boards of several prominent companies, is a Chartered Director, a member of the Institute of Directors and is Chairman of the Council of the University of the Free State.
Tongaat is a major regional sugar producer with operations in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa. With over 26,000 employees, Tongaat also provides a livelihood to more than 20,000 cane growers. The priority of the board during this transition period remains on steering the company with the support of shareholders and lenders to provide a sustainable future for all its stakeholders.
Tongaat Hulett CEO Gavin Hudson said: “On behalf of the board and executive team of Tongaat Hulett, we wish to sincerely thank Mr von Zeuner for his exceptional leadership, guidance and support during the difficult time that THL faced when he took over the role as Chairman. We wish him every success in his future endeavours. In welcoming Mr Noko as the interim Chairman, we take comfort that our efforts to complete the turnaround and recapitalisation will benefit from an exceptional depth of management expertise on the Board. We remain committed to the recapitalisation process, which we believe will protect intrinsic shareholder value and create a legacy for the half a million people dependent on the existence of Tongaat Hulett across the Southern Africa Development Community. Our engagement with lenders, shareholders and regulators to bring this to fruition continues.”