Francois Botha, formerly the general manager of international finance and development of Eskom International (USA), South Africa’s utility company, has joined the New York-based investor relations consulting firm Johnnie D. Johnson & Co.
Mr. Botha, who will open an Atlanta office for Johnnie D. Johnson, also will provide advisory and consulting services to JW Korth & Co., an investment bank and debt specialist for the retail market.
Mr. Botha opened Eskom’s Atlanta office in September, 1994, and retired from the company earlier this year.
He started his career in finance with Eskom 21 years ago as a loan officer and witnessed the growth of its treasury functions to include transactions on global markets. He was posted at Eskom’s office in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1990-94 where he oversaw the company’s re-entry into European capital markets.
He told GlobalFax last week during a telephone interview that Eskom had decided to open the Atlanta office because the company had “no base and no name recognition” in the U.S.
The company chose Atlanta over New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. for a variety of factors including lesser costs of operations, the presence of Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, the company’s relations with Southeastern utilities including Southern Co. and Duke Power, and the city’s efforts to position itself as a gateway to Africa.
Mr. Botha was a driving force behind the creation of the South African American Business Association (SAABA), but said that he felt its mission to promote trade and investment in South Africa so far had not been successful
“We have not had the trade flows and investment that we anticipated from America,” he said. “Normally associations follow the investment patterns, but we were pioneers and created the association before the patterns were established.” He added, however, that he would remain involved in SAABA, and would continue to assist with the expansion of its activities.
The Eskom office in Buckhead will be managed by Robert Tang who will oversee its business development activities in the U.S. and Asia.
Mr. Botha may be reached by calling (404) 252-1867; fax, (404) 252-4969.