Two senior SAPO men leave suddenly

Aug 27, 2004
Author: P&S

Two highly experienced managers left SA Port Operations (SAPO) this week rather than reapply for new positions.

Those who departed are Themba Gwala, General Manager Operations at Durban and with 23 years of service in the company, and Mdu Nene, GM Operations at Richards Bay. Both declined to test for new positions following a restructure of the company’s executive.

The restructuring does away with the position of general managers at each port. Instead a new executive is being formed on the basis of what SAPO refers to as ‘customer-centric structures’ and intended for re-positioning the company for a longer future.

According to SAPO’s CEO Tau Morwe these changes became necessary once government rethought the concessioning process.

“SAPO’s lifespan was expected to be about three years – that time is now up. During these three years our focus has been on improving financial and operational services ahead of the concessioning process, but as we all know the thinking of government is changing and therefore it’s become necessary to revisit our systems and restructure.”

Morwe said SAPO had recently conducted a series of workshops involving senior executives. The process was assisted by outside specialists, from which a new structure evolved.

“Everybody bought into the new system including the two GMs who subsequently opted not to reapply,” said Morwe. “I appealed to both to consider other positions but we couldn’t find common ground and have agreed to separate.”

In a letter addressed to clients dated 19 August Morwe announced the appointment of three members of the new executive. They are Pumi Sithole, former GM of Strategic Marketing who now heads ‘Customer Services’; Nosipho Damasane, former GM of Eastern Cape Ports who is in charge of ‘Supply Chain’; and Logan Naidoo head of the IT Department who becomes the ‘Chief Information Officer’.

Three positions remained unfilled this week - New Business Development, Support Services, and New Business Development, which Morwe says he expects to fill shortly.

In the meantime clients were asked to address all business enquiries relating to the individual terminals to the business unit managers at each terminal.

It is believed that SAPO’s restructuring is in line with a similar restructuring of Transnet announced earlier today (Friday, 27 August) by chief executive Maria Ramos (see separate report issued today).

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