Interview with Brian Molefe

Group Chief Executive Transnet SOC Ltd.

Among the emerging markets we think that Africa – for the first time in many centuries – is going to contribute quite significantly to global economic growth. While it’s coming from a low base, the continent is beginning to grow at about 5%, making it the fastest-growing region in the world.

The revitalisation of the railways industry in Africa is inevitable, and we are positioning ourselves to take advantage of this to make it the source of growth for our company in the medium term.And in the short term it is about winning the race for growth by revitalising our rail industry in South Africa.

The way we want to expand into the African continent is by focusing on manufacturing, and producing goods that can actually be sold on the African continent for the railway business, as well as services for the ports business on the continent.

There is a lot of talk about how to improve infrastructure for manufacturing on the continent. We think that if infrastructure never develops, or if infrastructure is not made available as a matter of urgency, then there is a big risk that many opportunities will be lost on the continent, and that growth will be slower than it could otherwise be.

Most importantly what maintains trust is the ability to do what the general population expects or demands of public institutions. And this is sometimes somewhat lacking, when governments in power or institutions are unable to deliver the basic things that people think are important.

As part of PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Brian Molefe, Group Chief Executive of Transnet SOC Ltd. In this short video, Brian shares his thoughts on Africa's growth and the outlook for the global economy, innovating to be fit for the future, rebuilding trust with customers, and the importance of investing in people.

Mr. Brian Molefe is the Group Chief Executive of Transnet SOC Ltd., the state-owned freight transport and logistics company responsible for South Africa’s rail freight, ports and pipelines network. He was appointed to the position in February 2011 following a successful stint as the Chief Executive of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). At the PIC, he led an unmatched growth in assets under management from R308 billion to just under R1 trillion between 2002 and 2010.

Molefe is leading Transnet through its record-breaking infrastructure spend programme. In April this year, Transnet launched its ground-breaking R300 billion seven-year investment programme – the Market Demand Strategy.

Molefe has a Master of Business Leadership and B.Com degree from Unisa, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Economics from the University of London. He has also completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School, the Programme for Young Global Leaders at the Kennedy School of Government also at Harvard University, as well as the Executive Programme, from Wharton Business School.

Before joining the PIC, he was Deputy Director General at the National Treasury, where he was responsible for Asset Liability Management.

Molefe, a member of the SANDF’s reserve force and an honorary colonel in the SA Irish Regiment, has received several awards in recognition of his contribution to the economy, particularly his role in the advancement of black economic empowerment. These include being chosen Chief Executive Officer of the Decade by the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (Absip), in October, Colonel Molefe was named Africa’s “Business Leader of the Year” by Africa Investor in Tokyo, Japan while CNBC Africa honoured him with the Business Success in Africa award.

These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.