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​Meet the TFR's CE: Sizakele Mzimela


Sizakele Mzimela

Chief Executive

Transnet Freight Rail

As TFR Chief Executive, Ms. Mzimela is charged with ensuring that TFR is the anchor of a globally competitive regional freight system that enables sustained growth and diversification of the region’s economies, enables economic growth by lowering the cost of doing business, and ensures reliable freight system through on-time scheduling and execution of train services.
Ms. Mzimela is a seasoned business executive with 29 years’ global experience, across diverse industries in the public and private sector 
Her extensive experience in running large, complex logistical entities is crucial to ensuring that TFR’s operational performance improves to levels that are comparable to its peers globally.
Before joining Trannet Freight Rail, Ms. Mzimela was the member of the Ministerial Intervention Team appointed by the Ministry of Public Enterprises and she later became the Interim Chief Executive Officer of South African Express Airways from 2018 to March 2020. Previously, she was the Chief Executive Officer and a founding member of the Fly Blue Crane Airline. From the year 2010 to 2012, Ms. Mzimela was the Group Chief Executive Ocer of South African Airways (SAA), this was at a time when the airline was the continent’s largest carrier with a turnover of R24 billion and had a presence in more than 40 international locations. SAA last recorded profit under her tenure. Before that, Ms. Mzimela was the Chief Executive Officer of South African Express, the fastest growing and profitable feeder airline from October 2003 to March 2010. In May 2002, Ms Mzimela joined the airline business where she was appointed Executive Vice President: Global Sales and Voyager at SAA, where she was responsible for a revenue generation target of R14 billion and leading global operations.


Ms. Mzimela’s vast experience, which started as an analyst at Standard Bank and grew to leading global large corporations and serving on various private sector boards brings both greater attention to detail and meticulous management of operations, and stringent compliance to corporate governance to TFR. ​ ​
 Leadership Positions:
Ms. Mzimela’s leadership has extended to serving on several Boards and global Industry Associations, including:
    • Chairperson of Cargo Carries, a leading JSE listed provider  of supply chain and logistics services  
  • Non-Executive Director for Woolworths Holdings 
  • Non-Executive Director for Bryte Insurance (2018 – current) 
  • Non-Executive Director for African Reinsurance Corporation (2014 - current) 
  • Non-Executive Director for Ansys Limited 
  • Non-Executive Director for SA Tourism 
  • Chairperson of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) 2012
  • First Woman appointed in 67 years to Board of IATA 
  • President of the African Airlines Association 2012
Ms. Mzimela has a BA in Economics and Statistics from the University of Swaziland, a Certificate in Management from Henley College, and a Certificate of the Transnet Executive Development Programme from GIBS.