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Johannesburg - Kumba Iron Ore announced on Tuesday that chairperson Fani Titi intends to step down from the board with effect from 30 September 2017.

Kumba has appointed chartered accountant Mandla Gantsho as an independent director and chairman designate. Gantsho will join the board on 1 August and will succeed Titi as chairman on 1 October after a handover period of two months.

Gantsho is the chief executive and founder of Africa Rising Capital, an investment and advisory business. He is a non-executive director and chairman of Sasol and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited. He is also a member of the divisional board of Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited.

Titi, who has been at the helm for five years, said chairing the Kumba board had been an enormous privilege during what has been a period of considerable price volatility and positive change for the business. 

"I will hand over to Mandla Gantsho at a time of strength for Kumba, following the announcement of its half year results and the resumption of dividend payments to our shareholders," Titi said.

"I am pleased to have played a part in contributing to a great South African business that will continue to make a significant contribution to our economy and to the communities in which we operate."

Gantsho said he was honoured and humbled to join the board of Kumba.

"The mining sector continues to present enormous potential and opportunity to attract investment in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. More importantly, as a driver of economic growth, it is pivotal in creating sustainable employment and downstream opportunities for business and entrepreneurial development," Gantsho said.

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"As a member of the Kumba board, I am committed towards building on the indelible legacy created by Fani Titi. I am confident that with my board colleagues and a committed and professional management team, Kumba will continue its positive trajectory."

Kumba chief executive Themba Mkhwanazi welcomed Gantsho and said they were looking forward to benefiting from his wealth of experience and leadership.

On Tuesday, Kumba Iron Ore reported headline earnings of R4.6 billion for the six months ended 30 June 2017.