Sephaku Cement announces passing of its iconic CEO Pieter Fourie
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THE BOARD of Sephaku Cement, a JSE-listed firm, on Wednesday announced the death of Pieter Fourie, chief executive of Dangote Cement South Africa (DCSA) trading as Sephaku Cement.
Fourie was also a non-executive director of SepHold.
Last week, it had informed shareholders that Fourie was admitted to hospital on May 9 2021 after suffering a stroke, but was expected to recover, and that Duan Classen, the operations executive, would lead the experienced DCSA executive team as the acting chief executive in the interim.
The board said: “It is with deep sadness that the board of directors announces the passing away of Pieter Fourie early this morning... Pieter was part of the SepHold founding management who dared to disrupt the long-standing cement industry oligopoly in 2005.”
The board said Fourie’s positive impact on SepHold, DCSA and the South African cement industry was significant.
He is survived by a wife, three children and five grandchildren.
SepHold board chairperson Brent Williams said, “We have lost an individual with enormous institutional insight and memory of the cement industry. This is indeed a very sad day for the Sephaku family. Pieter was pivotal in negotiating the relationship agreement with Dangote Industries PLC to establish SepHold’s partnership in Sephaku Cement.
“Pieter had successfully established SepCem as a formidable cement brand in South Africa at the time of his passing. He had managed to reduce the project bank debt significantly within six years. Pieter’s ever calm and optimistic demeanour never detracted from the tenacity and steadfastness that he always brought to bear with equal ease in shepherding SepCem on the long road towards achieving its strategic goals,” Williams said.
Willaims said Fourie would be sorely missed and would remain an indelible part of the company’s story of success.
“We mourn with his family at this painful time and pass our condolences to his spouse, Elna and children, Derick, Christle and Jean. May you find strength in knowing that he achieved great success in changing the South African cement industry landscape and influenced numerous people, ” he said.
The board paid tribute to Fourie’s career, sayiing: “His experience and deep industry knowledge spanned several decades and continents.”
Fourie became chief executive of SepCem in May 2007 following the company revising the initial minerals exploration model to one focused on selected industries, including cement manufacturing that would provide long-term shareholder value.
He was subsequently appointed a board director of SepHold on November, 20, 2009 following the JSE listing, bringing extensive experience in the cement industry defined by longevity and success throughout his career.
His previous roles included being marketing director of Blue Circle, which was subsequently acquired by Lafarge South Africa, the managing director of the cement business unit of Lafarge SA and strategic development director for Africa based at the Lafarge head office in France.
Fourie’s role at Blue Circle included sales, distribution and marketing before being promoted to managing director of the cement business. He subsequently accepted the assignment at Lafarge’s head office in a strategic development role to integrate the newly acquired business in Africa into Lafarge’s portfolio.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE