Leadership Team

Samancor Chrome's leaders are dynamic and visionary. Discover a little more about them:

Chief Executive Officer+ -
Desmond McManus

Desmond holds a Bachelor in Engineering (Extractive Metallurgy), as well as an MBL (Masters in Business Leadership) Degree from UNISA. His past working experience includes being a Production Superintendent as Assmang Manganese's Cato Ridge Works, before joining Samancor Chrome as a Production Superintendent at Tubatse Ferrochrome in 2002. In 2005, he was promoted to the position of Operations Manager of Tubatse Ferrochrome. In 2008, he was promoted to General Manager of Tubatse Ferrochrome. Desmond was promoted to COO of Samancor Chrome on 1 January 2013. He has been in his current position since 1 July 2019.

COO: Smelting+ -
Sizwe Siyila

Sizwe has vast experience in the chrome and manganese mining and smelting/processing, as well as coke manufacturing environments. He gained valuable experience as a Senior Metallurgist and Projects Superintendent at Assmang Chrome and a Process Engineer at BHP Billiton’s Metalloys Works. Sizwe joined Samancor Chrome as the Group Procurement Superintendent at Group Procurement Services in September 2015, and was appointed as the Logistics Manager at TC Smelter in March 2018, after which he was promoted to General Manager in December 2019.  He subsequently moved to Ferrometals as General Manager in May 2021 and has been in his current position since January 2022.

COO: Mining+ -
George Kleynhans

George has many years of hands-on experience in the mining industry. He holds a B.Tech Mining Engineering degree as well as Mine Overseer and Mine Managers (Metaliferous) Certificates. He started his career at Anglo Platiunum as a Graduate Mining Engineer, after which he was a Shift Supervisor at their Kuseleka 2 Operation.  He was later appointed as Mine Overseer at Aquarius Platinum, after which he joined Impala Platinum 1 Shaft as Mine Manager. George joined Sibanye Stillwater’s Kwezi Operations in 2016 as Mine Manager and was later appointed as Acting Vice-President in 2018. Before he joined Samancor Chrome, he was the Vice President and Head of Operations at Sibanye Stillwater’s Mooinooi Operations.  He has been in his current position since July 2022.

Chief Financial Officer+ -
Wessel Erasmus

Wessel is a qualified chartered accountant who started his career as an Article Clerk at Deloitte Haskins and Sells (now Deloitte) in the Johannesburg office from where he was recruited into Samancor during the latter part of 1995. During the period he has taken on several leading roles and responsibilities, including the positions as Divisional Financial Manager of Chrome in 1998 and later as the Finance Manager for Samancor Chrome in 2001. During his tenure in Chrome he has been a key member of the teams involved in the setting up the chrome joint ventures, the de-listing of Samancor Limited from the local stock exchange and subsequent restructure of Samancor Limited into the Chrome and Manganese operating divisions, as well as working with the team responsible for listing Billiton on the LSE. Wessel was also involved with the split of Samancor Limited into two separate legal entities and the sale of the Chrome assets. He has been in his current position since 2006.

Chief Technology Officer+ -
Steph van Sittert

Steph holds a Bachelor in Engineering, as well as an MBL (Masters in Business Leadership) degree from UNISA. He holds a Government Certificate of Competency for Factories and is registered as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa. His 20 years working experience includes senior management roles in the power generation and ferroalloy industry ranging from operational to project and business development responsibilities. Steph joined Samancor Chrome as the Head of Business Development and Technology in January 2014 and  was promoted to COO: Smelting in February 2020.  He has been in his current position since December 2021.

Head of SHEQ+ -
John Botha

John holds a B-Tech Degree in Safety Management and started his career as an Artisan at Anglo American in 1978 after which he joined the safety fraternity in 1988. He joined AVGOLD in 1999 as part of the project's SHEQ team at Target Division until the initiation of production in 2001. He spent two years at the Pechiney ALCAN Silicon Smelter's SHEQ Department in Polokwane after which he joined Samancor Chrome's Tubatse Ferrochrome operation as the SHEQ Manager. John was promoted to his current position in 2007.

Head of Corporate Affairs and Transformation+ -
Jomo Kwadi

Jomo holds degrees in Industrial Sociology and Criminology, and a post-graduate qualification in Human Resource Management. He also completed the Programme in Management Development at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Jomo has spent more than 20 years in the human resources arena and brings with him a wealth of experience in leading both transformation and community stakeholder management interventions at mining companies such as De Beers Consolidated Mines, Modikwa Platinum and Samancor Manganese.  He also served as HR Manager of Samancor Chrome's Western Chrome Mines operation from 2006 - December 2007.  Jomo was the HR Manager at Middelburg Ferrochrome since January 2018 before taking up his current position in June 2021.

Head of Human Capital and Development+ -
Leandra van der Merwe

Leandra holds an Honours Degree in Psychology (UJ), an Honours Degree in Industrial Psychology (NWU), as well as an advanced certificate in Industrial Relations. Her past working experience includes being an Employee Relations Manager at Ingwe Koornfontein Mine before joining Samancor Chrome as an HR Superintendent at Middelburg Ferrochrome in 2003. In 2005, she was promoted to the position of HR Manager of Middelburg Ferrochrome. Leandra took up the position of Group Manager: Training and Development in August 2010, and was appointed as the Head of Human Capital and Development in January 2015.

Head of Logistics, Procurement and Business Development+ -
Liu Dong

Liu Dong holds a PhD in Management Science and Engineering, as well as a M.Sc. degree in Business Administration and a B.Sc. degree in International Economics and Trade. He has also held various executive positions in Samancor Chrome’s joint ventures. Liu Dong has been in his current position since February 2020.

Group General Counsel and Company Secretary+ -
Victor Omoighe

Victor is a multidisciplinary Commercial Legal Admitted Attorney with vast experience in the strategic legal, commercial and compliance advisory arena. He has experience in the mining, technology, petrochemical, banking, consulting, hospitality, SOE's and manufacturing sectors.  Victor holds a MBA Degree, a LLB Law Degree, as well as various other legal qualifications.  He has been in his current position since 2018 and joined Samancor Chrome's Executive Committee in October 2021.

General Manager: TC Smelter+ -
Wihan Swanepoel

Wihan holds a MBA Degree and completed his Honours Degree in Industrial Science, with Chemical Engineering and Chemistry as areas of specialisation.  He has more than 14 years’ experience in the ferrochrome industry.  Before he joined us, he was the Operations Manager at Glencore’s Lydenburg Smelter. Wihan has been based at TC Smelter as Operations Manager since September 2020 and has been in his current position since June 2021.

General Manager: Dikwena Chrome+ -
Gerrit Olivier

Gerrit holds a B. Engineering Degree in Extractive Metallurgical Engineering and a Management Diploma Programme from UNISA.  He started his career as an Engineer at Mintek, focusing on pyro-metallurgical test work, after which he joined Xstrata/Glencore as Production Engineer, Superintendent, Production Manager and later Works Manager. He subsequently joined Lafarge Cement Lichtenburg as Plant Manager, where he was able to contribute, amongst others, to operational risk and cost-reduction, Corporate Social Investment initiatives and training and coaching. He has been in his current position since June 2021.

General Manager: Eastern Chrome Mines+ -
Bertus Brink

Bertus has more than 26 years’ experience in the mining industry and completed his practical training at Samancor Montrose and Tweefontein Mines from 1990 – 1991, after which he furthered his career in Mining Engineering at Anglo American Corporation in the roles of Mine Overseer, Section Manager and Production Manager. He joined Samancor Chrome as a Mine Manager at ECM’s Tweefontein Mine in 2009 and was promoted to Mining Manager in 2012. He has been in his current position since July 2017. He holds a National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, a Degree and National Higher Diploma in Metalliferous Mining, as well as a Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competency, a MDP and EDP.

General Manager: Western Chrome Mines+ -
PG Smit

PG started his career at Sasol Financing and holds a B.Comm Honours Degree in Accounting and is a registered Chartered Accountant.  He gained valuable experience in the mining industry by spending more than twelve years at Harmony Gold in various financial designations, ultimately being appointed as the Financial Manager of Harmony’s Target Operations in 2011. Before he joined Samancor Chrome Western Chrome Mines in 2019 as the Finance and Admin Manager, he was the Financial and Administration Manager at Terramec SARL in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. PG has been in his current position since March 2022.

General Manager: Middelburg Ferrochrome+ -
Willie Botha

Willie holds a degree in Chemical Engineering. His past working experience includes being a General Manager of Xstrata Alloys in eMalahleni, before moving to Xstrata Lydenburg plant to take up the position of Works Manager, after which he was later promoted to General Works Manager. Willie has been in his current position since 1 April 2011.

General Manager: Tubatse Ferrochrome + -
Petrus Meyer

Petrus completed his Mechanical Engineering studies as a bursary holder of Mittal and later Iscor. He joined Columbus Stainless in 1994 where he gained valuable experience as a Maintenance Engineer. In 2002 he joined Anglo Platinum’s engineering department at its Polokwane Smelter after which he spent time working as a Project Manager in the private sector. He joined Samancor Chrome in 2007 at the MFC Low-Carbon plant, whereafter he moved to the DC furnaces in 2010 as Process Engineer. He was subsequently promoted to Operations Manager at M3 and M4 at MFC in 2011. Petrus has been in his current position since May 2020.

General Manager: Tubatse Alloy+ -
Lindelani Nyathikazi

Lindelani holds a BSc Electrical Engineering Degree, a GCC, as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership.  He has a wealth of experience in project management, solution development and the implementation of overall business strategies. He started his career at Springlake Colliery in 2006, after which he joined Glencore Siltech as a Maintenance Engineer in 2007.  He was later promoted to Manager Engineering Services at Glencore Lydenburg Smelter, whereafter he joined several SMME's as a Director in 2016 up until he joined Samancor Chrome. Lindelani has been in his current position since June 2022.

General Manager: Ferrometals+ -
Fortune Mashimbye

Fortune has over 25 years of industry experience and holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Chemical Engineering. He started his career as a Trainee Metallurgist at Anglo American Platinum, after which he spent the next 24 years gaining experience in various positions at the company – from being a Process Engineer at Rustenburg Base Metals Refinery, a Plant Manager at Mortimer Concentrator  Plant (Union Section) and ultimately a General Manager – first at Precious Metals Refiners and later at Rustenburg Metals Refiners and Process Division Services.  He was the General Manager of PPC Cement’s Dwaalboom operations before joinig Samancor Chrome.  Fortune has been in his current position since July 2022.