PPC CFO Tryphosa Ramano named deputy chair of SAA

PPC chief financial officer Tryphosa Ramano has been named deputy chairperson of South African Airways (SAA) and will work closely with chairperson Dudu Myeni, the political ally of president Jacob Zuma who was re-appointed in her role on Friday. In 2014 Ramano won a power struggle with CEO Ketso Gordhan, the nephew of finance minister Pravin Gordhan, widely reported to be at odds with Zuma.

AngloGold Ashanti CFO Christine Ramon had also been in the running for a board position, according to media reports. She was one of only two names submitted by the Treasury that were not confirmed by cabinet.

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Ramano was nominated for the 2014 CFO Awards. Later that year she made news headlines after PPC CEO Ketso Gordhan wanted to fire her, but he was eventually left himself and called the board incompetent. Ketso Gordhan famously took a pay cut of R1 million, a move Ramano apparently didn't follow.

The board backed Ramano and 'revealed' that the reasons Gordhan had given for wanting to fire the CFO included that she "had a bigger office than him" and had requested a reserved parking spot. PPC was recently forced to raise funds after S&P Global Ratings cut its credit rating to below investment grade amid rising debt due to investment in new African projects. The share price is at a 13 year low.

Ramano is also Association of Black Securities & Investment Professionals (ABSIP). On Twitter she describes herself as:

"President of ABSIP, CFO of PPC, mother of many young beautiful children, sister, daughter, granddaughter, colleague, partner and wife"

According to the Daily Maverick, Christine Ramon was on the longlist that finance minister Pravin Gordhan had submitted to cabinet, her name even being mentioned as possible candidate for deputy chair. However, the winner of the 2016 Finance & Technology Award at the 2016 CFO Awards did not appear on the final list of board members appointed by the cabinet.

SAA chair Myeni heads up the Jacob Zuma Foundation. Her retention is seen as a compromise by minister Gordhan, who has refused to provide fresh guarantees to the scandal-ridden and cash-strapped SAA. It is likely that a R5-billion guarantee for SAA will now be approved. SAA has not submitted financials for 11 months, in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

Here is the new SAA board:

  • Duduzile Cynthia Myeni (reappointment as Chairperson)
  • Mmakeaya Tryphosa Ramano (Deputy Chairperson)
  • Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala ( Executive Director of Kupanua Investments)
  • Thandeka Mgoduso (CEO of Freightdynamics)
  • Nazmeera Moola (Economist and strategist with Investec Asset Management)
  • Akhter Moosa (Transport and Logistics Leader for PwC Southern Africa)
  • Gugu Sepamla (Senior advisor at the global consulting firm BCG)
  • Siphile Buthelezi (Attorney and founding member member and Secretary-General of the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF)
  • Peter Maluleka (Umkhonto weSizwe veteran and former ANC MP)
  • Mzimkulu Malunga (Former Business Day and Financial Mail MD)
  • Marha Mbatha (Chairwoman of the Agri Business Development Agency)
  • Peter Tshisevhe (Lawyer and merger and acquisition specialist)