Sunday, May 27, 2018
Robinson Ramaite

Robinson Ramaite

Wescoal Holdings

ROBINSON Ramaite’s ‘to-do’ list for 2016 must start with addressing fundamental shareholder unrest. About a third of Wescoal’s investors voted against increasing non-executive director fees during the November annual general meeting. Shareholders are also worried that the company is still without a CEO, and wonder why a non-executive chairman is so intent on control. Waheed Sulaiman, interim CEO, wants the job. Then there’s the issue of signing a long-term coal sales agreement with Eskom for two million tonnes annually of coal from its Elandspruit colliery – a manifold issue because it may turn on establishing the 51% BEE structure required of new suppliers to the power utility. It was the empowerment transaction that created the fault line in Wescoal with some directors supporting Ramaite’s plan to increase his own shares in the company whilst founding CEO, Andre Bojé, wanted to investigate selling to an offshore buyer. In the end, Bojé left because he feared breaking the company, but by October, Wescoal’s CFO and human resources director had already quit. Further evidence that investors don’t fancy Wescoal’s strategy was the mere 2% take-up of a proposed R64m rights offer. As underwriter, Simeka Capital Holdings – of which Ramaite is chairman - bought R40m in Wescoal shares. The shortfall in funds raised may mean Wescoal will continue to experience balance sheet pressure this year.

LIFE OF ROBINSON

A lawyer by training, Ramaite was director-general of the Department of Public Service and Administration in President Thabo Mbeki’s first administration from 1999 to 2003. His business breakthrough came after being appointed a director of Mvelaphanda Resources in 2004. Since then, he has held a myriad of board posts in a dizzying number of businesses including Arivia.Kom, Murwakhomu Construction, Khumama Platinum, Gobodo Forensic and Investigative Accounting, Vusani Property Investments ....