Sasol’s Pieter Cox on Monday indicated that he would step down as chairperson and director of the petrochemicals company as of November 28, when Hixonia Nyasulu would take over to chair the board of directors.
“Hixonia has a small interest in Sasol Oil, one of our subsidiaries, so using a conservative approach to corporate governance, we have not recognised her as being fully independent," stated Sasol CEO Pat Davies.
"And the way that that is dealt with, is to appoint a lead independent director, who can then chair the meeting, should there ever be a discussion around Sasol Oil, where it is not appropriate for Hixonia to be chairing the meeting,” he explained further.
Professor Juergen Schrempp has thus been appointed as lead independent director. His role would include chairing the board when matters pertaining to Sasol Oil were dealt with at the Sasol board.
Nyasulu has a 1,275% indirect interest in Sasol Oil.
"I would like to congratulate Hixonia on her appointment and wish her well in providing leadership at board level. She is a respected board member and it is a pleasure after 13 years on the Sasol Limited board to hand the baton to her. We are also grateful that Juergen has accepted his new role," said Cox in a note to shareholders.
She is the founder and chairperson of women-controlled investment vehicle Ayavuna Women’s Investments. Before founding Ayavuna in 2004, she managed T H Nyasulu & Associates, a marketing strategy and research company she started in 1984 after working for Unilever for six years. She has served on the boards of several South African companies since 1992 including Saficon Motor Holdings, AVI Limited, McCarthy Retail, Glodina and Nedbank, where she became deputy chairperson.
Until recently, she was also on the board of Anglo Platinum. She is currently a director of Unilever PLC/NV and serves on the boards of Barloworld, Glenrand MIB and Tongaat Hulett. She is also a director and co-owner of Paton Tupper Associates, a Durban-based design agency, as well as a member of the JP Morgan South Africa advisory board.
She was also a member of the Banking Enquiry Panel, appointed by the South African Competition Commission to investigate charges in the retail banking sector, access to the national payment system and competition in the sector.