KZN’s Zikalala describes late Johan van Zyl as formidable business mind

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala described Johan van Zyl, who succumbed to COVID, as one of the most formidable business minds that the country has ever produced.

 Executive Chairperson of Toyota South Africa, Dr Johan van Zyl, passed away at the age of 63. Picture: Toyota SA.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African business community mourns the passing of yet another high-profile individual due to COVID-19 complications.

On Saturday, news emerged that Johan van Zyl died this weekend.

He returned to South Africa a few months ago after an impressive record as a Toyota executive internationally.

READ: Toyota SA executive chair Johan van Zyl passes away

Any player in South Africa’s business industry will mirror the sentiments expressed by many that the COVID-19 pandemic has cost the sector talent and experience.

On Saturday, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala described Van Zyl as one of the most formidable business minds that the country has ever produced.

And just as he returned home after serving as chief executive officer (CEO) of Toyota Motor Europe in Brussels and operating officer at Toyota Motor Corporation in 2020 – Van Zyl’s life was cut short.

Born in 1958 in Springs, in Ekurhuleni, the automotive giant leaves behind an outstanding career.

He served as Toyota SA’s CEO as he rose through the Japanese company’s ranks.

Zikalala also said Van Zyl contributed immensely to the economic development of the province as a board member of TIKZN – a public entity responsible for investment attraction and business retention.

This year alone, the SA business sector lost Absa CEO Peter Matlare, businessman Khehla Mthembu, former Eskom boss and businessman Jabu Mabuza among others, to COVID-19.

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