The fuel to lead is the autobiography of current Wits Business School Head and Director, Professor Maurice Radebe. It is an inspirational story told with the intention of fuelling both emerging and established leaders so that they can go further than they thought possible. The themes of the book stem from the more than 30 years Prof Radebe spent in the fuel and energy sector.
The book details his early years in the Ekurhuleni township of Katlehong where he was under the tutelage of his grandfather and mentor, Philemon Radebe, who built from the ground up one of the biggest supermarkets in the area. This is where Prof Radebe’s love for business and leadership was ignited.
Prof Radebe shares with vulnerability the challenges he and his wife faced as their first child was born differently abled. After spending a number of years at Shell where he held a cosy managerial position, he took a leap of faith and was one of the founding leaders of Exel Petroleum, a Black-owned and Black-managed oil and energy company which became one of the leaders in the sector. Through organisations such as African Mineral and Energy Forum, Prof Radebe fought for the equal rights of Black people and women in the energy sector.
Radebe spent much of his corporate career at Sasol after it acquired Exel and he rose up the ranks until retiring in 2020 as Executive Vice President: Energy and Safety, Health & Environment. He was also responsible for Sasol’s Energy Business globally. In the book, he speaks frankly about the business challenges he faced at the various companies where he has served. He also highlights spiritual rootedness, family values and ethical leadership as core elements necessary for success in life and in business. This is the story of a proudly South African man who has operated on a global scale.