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press release

SAPIA appoints Seelan Naidoo as new Chairperson

17 January 2024, Johannesburg – The South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) has announced the appointment of Seelan Naidoo as the new Chairperson of the Board of Governors. Naidoo will serve in this role from January 2024 – December 2025. He succeeds Hloniphizwe Mtolo whose two-year tenure ended in December 2023.

Naidoo is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Engen Petroleum Limited, which has business operations in South Africa as well as six other Sub-Saharan and Indian Ocean markets. He has over three decades of experience within the petroleum industry that spans across refining, sales and marketing, and distribution portfolios. Naidoo previously held the position of General Manager for Engen’s Retail business, after having spent many years as Regional Manager: East Africa, which encompassed seven countries operating in diverse markets with varying regulatory frameworks.

As he steps into his new responsibility, he will lead SAPIA in its drive to meet its key priorities, including the transition to cleaner fuels, facilitate fuel security of supply and championing the Health, Safety and Environment across the industry. Naidoo will provide strategic leadership on the industry’s position on energy transition, and spearhead engagement with legislators and regulators on developing policies that support environmental sustainability. This, while ensuring industry remains economically viable.

The newly appointed Chairperson, who is passionate about people development, will champion the industry transformation efforts to ensure that the industry meets its objectives in support of the country’s drive for inclusive economic participation. Along with economic transformation, he will also promote technical skills development that will ensure a secure talent pipeline for the industry for years to come.

Naidoo says he is honoured to have been appointed to this role during the year SAPIA celebrates its 30-year anniversary. “I look forward to working with SAPIA members to champion the needs of our industry as we chart the way forward. As the industry landscape continues to change, SAPIA’s role is critical in ensuring a sustainable future for all stakeholders and the future of the country,” he adds.

The petroleum industry is a key player in the energy sector, which faces some challenges, and Naidoo believes SAPIA has a critical role to play in supporting the country’s efforts for energy security.

“As we welcome the appointment of the new Chairperson, we would also like to take a moment to thank the outgoing Chairperson for the dedication and hard work,” says Avhapfani Tshifularo, Executive Director of SAPIA. Mtolo’s contributions have been invaluable in successfully driving the industry’s strategic agenda, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

“We are confident that Naidoo will continue to build on the successes of the past and lead the organisation to even greater heights. We look forward to collaborating with the new Chairperson and the Board of Governors to achieve our shared goals,” he concluded.