Zolani Kgosietsile “Kgosie” Matthews was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on Saturday 27 February 2021 at the Langa train station in Cape Town.

Matthews will replace Thandeka Mabija, the former human resources head who was appointed as acting CEO in 2019 when Minister Fikile Mbalula fired the board of Prasa and the acting CEO, Nkosinathi Sishi.

Mbablula said it’s a new era for Prasa, but added: “The old chapter cannot be closed until we have stabilised corporate governance, management, commuter rail operations and resume the course towards modernising passenger rail in the country”.

New Prasa CEO: Who is Zolani Matthews

Matthews will have his work cut out for him. Prasa has experienced a fair share of trouble in its 12 years of existence, from the in 2015 irregular expenditure to the wasteful expenditure of R541 million and recent job cuts.

Based on Zolani Matthews’ track record and Minister Mbalula’s glowing recommendation, the new CEO might just be the main to steer Prasa in the right direction once again.

Qualifications and education

Matthews also holds a masters degree in public administration from Harvard University. as well as an undergraduate degree from the University of Warwick.

“An accomplished Harvard University Masters graduate with over 30 years of experience, he holds directorships on several listed companies where he devotes his exceptional strategic skills and his ability to provide oversight in large and small business organisations”.

Zolani Matthews career history and previous roles

Matthews currently holds the position of Chairman at The Ports Regulator of South Africa (since June 2020) and serves as a board member in a number of companies, including enX Group Ltd (2020) and Zarclear Holdings Ltd (2019).

His previous positions include that of Managing Director at Fordworks Associates and Senior Manager at Armaments Corp. of SA. He is currently a councillor of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

At ICASA, Matthews went up against Keabetswe Modimoeng (the existing acting chairman), Yolisa Kedama, Peter Zimri, Luthando Mkutumela, Charley Lewis, Amanda Cuba and Sandisiwe Ncemane.

Matthews was also the director at the South African Post Office for four years, where “he demonstrated his expertise and well-developed understanding of risk-based organisational processes in building resilience […] and championing the goal to shift the Post Office into new revenue streams”.

What are Matthews best qualities?

According to Mbalula, Matthews is a “seasoned professional, with a robust understanding of international and domestic business strategy who has operated in dynamic, complex and agile organisations.

“His professional track record of over 30 years bears witness to his focus on corporate governance, transparency and value-based organisations.”

In addition, Matthews successfully led the business growth behind IMVULA by focusing on Security, Healthcare, Logistics, amongst others, and helped the company’s workforce grow behind 10 000 employees.

IMVULA is now the third-largest secuirty company in South Africa with an annual turnover of R2 billion. Matthews’ executive summary can be viewed here.

Now read: Prasa gunning for axed executives in massive clean up

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Presh JM Reporter

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