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Leadership

The CSIR’s leadership structure comprises the CSIR Board, Executive Management and Executive Directors. They bring a broad range of expertise to continue steering an organisation that strives to transform the world in which we live.

Prof Thokozani Majozi (Chairperson)
Chairperson of the CSIR Board NRF/DST Chair: Sustainable Process Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand

Thokozani Majozi is a full professor in the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at Wits University where he also holds the NRF/DST Chair in Sustainable Process Engineering. Prior to joining Wits, he spent almost 10 years at the University of Pretoria, initially as an associate professor and later as a full professor of chemical engineering. He was also an associate professor in computer science at the University of Pannonia in Hungary from 2005 to 2009.

Majozi completed his PhD in Process Integration at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in the United Kingdom. He is a member of Academy of Science of South Africa and a Fellow for the Academy of Engineering of SA. He has served in various senior positions, including Vice-President of the Engineering Council of South Africa (2009 – 2012), Director of Pelchem (2007 – 2010) and Director of Necsa (2010 – 2013).

He has received numerous awards for his research including the Burianec Memorial Award (Italy), S2A3 British Association Medal (Silver) and the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers Bill Neal-May Gold Medal. He is a two-time recipient of both the NSTF Award and the NRF President’s Award. He has authored and co-authored more than 150 scientific publications, including two books in Batch Chemical Process Integration. He is a B1 NRF rated researcher.

Dr Thulani Dlamini (CEO)
CSIR CEO

Dr Thulani Dlamini has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) effective from 1 February 2017. He is no stranger to the CSIR, having served the organisation with distinction for many years.

He joined the CSIR in 2005 as the head of the National Laser Centre and in 2008 he was appointed to the position of Group Executive for Research and Development (R&D), a position he held until 2011 when he left the CSIR to join Sasol. At Sasol he was the Executive Manager: Research and Development and later became Vice-President for Strategic Research and Technology.

Dr Dlamini holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master’s in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa. He has also completed advanced courses in several aspects of technology management in the chemical industry offered by institutions such as the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Photonics Initiative of South Africa and the development of a national strategy for photonics research, development and innovation (RD&I). He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF). Furthermore, he has served on numerous boards including the Sasol Pension Fund, Automotive Industry Development Centre, Sasol Technology UK and Netherlands.

 

Adv Ghandi Badela
Advocate, Duma Nokwe Group

Ghandi Badela holds an MSc in electromechanical engineering (Leningrad Polytechnic Institute, Russia); an MSc in engineering management (Rand Afrikaans University, now University of Johannesburg); an MBA (Gordon Institute of Business Science); an MSc in packaging technology (Brunel University, UK) and an LLB in commercial law (University of South Africa). Badela is an admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. He is a non-executive director of Denel and Metrobus and has held various executive positions in a number of economic sectors.

He is a member of the Advisory Council of the University of Johannesburg’s Engineering Faculty. Badela is also a member of the panel of arbitrators of both the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa (commercial and construction arbitration) and the Association of Arbitrators Southern Africa (construction arbitration). He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK.

Ms Phindile Baleni
Director General, Gauteng Premier's Office

Phindile Baleni (formerly Nzimande) was appointed as the Director General in the Gauteng Premier's office in March 2015. This follows her tenure as the CEO of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) since April 2011. She is an admitted Attorney and Conveyancer and holds a B. Proc and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand. She was a strategic management team legal advisor to the then Gauteng MEC for Housing and Local Government from 1994 to 1996. In 1996, Baleni joined the Metropolitan Council of Johannesburg where she held a number of key positions and was ultimately appointed as the Executive Director of Contract Management for the City of Joburg in 2001, which entailed managing and regulating the relationship between the City and its municipal-owned entities.

In June 2003, she was appointed as CEO of EDI Holdings, the state-owned company tasked with project managing the restructuring of the electricity distribution industry in the country. She currently serves in the boards of MERSETA and the Wits University Council. She has also served on a number of other Boards such as Sanparks, Momentum and Nurcha, a presidential-led project established to facilitate investment in the financing of low cost housing. Whilst at NERSA, she was the Chairperson of the Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa and an Executive Committee Member of the African Forum for Utility Regulators.

Dr Philip Hugh Goyns
Senior Climate Change Advisor, Promethium Carbon

Philip Goyns is a Senior Climate Change Advisor at Promethium Carbon - an energy and environment consultancy. Before this he worked as a Modelling Specialist at the Department of Energy, where he was responsible for the development of the energy system optimisation model used for the Integrated Energy Plan. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, he was the Programme Manager for EnerKey, a German-South African research partnership aimed at integrated energy planning and implementation in the Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane Megacity Region.

Dr Goyns gained international experience while working in London as the Information Technology Project Manager at Global Coal Limited and the Data Manager at Company Watch Limited. He is a Wits University graduate, with a BSc and MSc in mechanical engineering and he also holds a DPhil in energy studies from the University of Johannesburg. He is a member of the Engineering Council of South Africa and the Institution for Mechanical Engineers (UK).

Dr Antonio Llobell
Chief Executive Officer, BioGold International

Antonio Llobell is the CEO of BioGOLD International. Prior to this he was the CEO of the PlantBio Trust, a position he took up in February 2007 after serving as PlantBio’s Chief Operations Officer since April 2004. During his five years with PlantBio, Llobell played an integral role in building the PlantBio team, developing and implementing the organisational strategy and growing the Trust’s investment portfolio. His participation has been instrumental in establishing national strategic initiatives for innovation in the biotechnology sector and collaborations both locally and internationally. He joined the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) team in April 2010, following the PlantBio Trust’s merger with other innovation entities to form TIA.

With more than 12 years of senior research management experience in the plant and microbial biotechnology field, he was professor of plant biotechnology at the African Centre for Crop Improvement, University of KwaZulu Natal, before joining PlantBio. He has also been a professor titular at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis, University of Seville and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). He has a strong entrepreneurial background and was co-founder and scientific consultant in Newbiotech Inc, S.A. (NBT), a biotechnology company specialising in the development of applications for the agro-food and industrial sectors and in NBT Diagen, S.A., a biotech company commercialising molecular diagnosis services for the medical sector.

He has published more than sixty scientific articles in books and peer-reviewed international journals and more than one hundred communications to national and international congresses. He has also been referee for a number of international journals and is the inventor of six Spanish and four international patent applications on antifungal genes and proteins, gene expression systems and bio-control formulations.

Dr Ramatsemela Masango
Executive Director, Mzansi Energy Solutions and Innovations (Pty) Ltd

Ramatsemela Masango is currently an Executive Director at Mzansi Energy Solutions and Innovations (Pty) Ltd (Mzesi), where she is also the Group Chief Technology Officer tasked with ensuring successful delivery of Mzesi products and services, while positioning Mzesi as a reputable international player in the nuclear technology field, renewable energy sector and the training sector. She leads the Mzesi subsidiary, Mzesi Energy (Pty) Ltd in her capacity as CEO and is also a non-executive director and chairman of ArioGenix (Pty) Ltd. She was previously employed by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Company, the National Nuclear Regulator and Eskom’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in technical roles, management and executive positions.

Following the completion of her B.Tech degree (cum laude) in chemical engineering, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study towards a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and was also awarded the Fulbright Amy Biel award for being the most outstanding applicant that year. In recognition of her contribution to the Penn State Nuclear Engineering department during her Master’s degree studies, the university awarded her a scholarship to complete her PhD in Nuclear Engineering.

Ms Mokgadi Maseko
Director, Leruo Corporate Consulting

Mokgadi Maseko is a charted accountant and a registered auditor with extensive audit experience in both the public and private sectors. She is a Director at Leruo Corporate Consulting. She completed her articles with KPMG and stayed on with the firm as an assistant manager. After her time at KPMG she joined Alstom S&E Africa (Pty) Ltd, a multi-national engineering company, where as one of the first employees was instrumental in setting up the finance department. She played a key role in implementing the introduction of the company’s global internal control tool to the local unit, including training various key process owners.

During this time she gained invaluable experience in the industry and the inner workings of the various systems. She worked at the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) as an audit manager on both PFMA and MFMA audits including public entities. The practical and statutory compliance knowledge that was gained through these projects has proven invaluable in advising clients subsequent to her time at the AGSA. Prior to joining KPMG she worked for Investec Private Bank as a consultant before which she was employed at Eskom as part of their graduate in training programme.

Mr Joel Netshitenzhe
Executive Director and Board Vice-Chairperson, Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA)

Joel Netshitenzhe is the Executive Director and Board Vice-Chairperson of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA). He has an MSc degree in financial economics and a post-graduate diploma in economic principles from the University of London (SOAS), and a diploma in political science from the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow. He is a member of the National Planning Commission of the South African government, the advisory board of the Nelson Mandela Trust and the board of CEEF. Africa (a section 21 company dealing with tertiary education opportunities).

He is also a Member of the Boards of Nedbank Group and Life Healthcare Group; and a Champion within Programme Pioneer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Life College Association. Before joining the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) as CEO in 1998, Netshitenzhe was Head of Communication in former president Nelson Mandela’s office. In addition to being GCIS CEO, he was appointed Head of the Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services (PCAS) in The Presidency, in 2001. He headed the PCAS on a full-time basis from 2006 until his retirement in 2009.

Ms Ayanda Noah
Group Executive: Distribution, Eskom

Ayanda Noah joined Eskom in 1992 as an engineer-in-training and has since held various positions within the organisation before assuming her current role as Group Executive for Distribution. In this portfolio, she oversees an asset base of over 320,000 km of network and close to 15,000 employees who provide wires to over five million customers.

She has worked primarily in Transmission and Distribution. Some of the senior positions she has held include Training Manager; Substation & Lines Design Manager (Transmission); Regional Engineering Manager and later Regional General Manager for Distribution Western Region (made up of Western Cape and parts of Northern Cape).

She represents Eskom as a board member on Roshcon Rotek (an Eskom subsidiary); The South African National Energy Association (SANEA) and Energy Access Partnership (EAP), which is a multinational vehicle formed to advance electrification in the developing world. She is currently the chairman of EAP.

She holds a BSc in electrical engineering from the University of Cape Town, an MBA from the International Management Centres and has completed the Executive Development Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as a professional engineer and is a member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) and the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng
Vice Principal of Research and Innovation, Unisa

Mamokgethi Phakeng (formerly Setati) is full professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation at the University of Cape Town. She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is a B2 NRF-rated scientist who is as passionate about research as she is about teaching and community engagement. She has been invited as a speaker and visiting professor at international conferences and universities in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Denmark, Finland, India, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Senegal, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.

She has won many awards for her research and community work. In April 2016, President Jacob Zuma bestowed upon her South Africa’s highest honour, the Order of Baobab in Silver, for her excellent contribution in the field of science and representing South Africa on the international stage through her outstanding research work. Prof Phakeng was elected as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in November 2007; an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society in May 2009 and an honorary life member of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) in July 2009. In 2008 she became the first South African woman to be appointed to co-chair a study commissioned by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. The study is entitled “mathematics and language diversity” and has published an edited volume.

Kgethi, as she is affectionately known, is President of Convocation of Wits University, trustee of the FirstRand Foundation and member of the board of the CSIR. She has served as national president of the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) from 2002 to 2006, chairperson of the Board of the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) from 2005 to 2006 and secretary and member of the executive committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) from 2003 to 2007.

She is the founder of the Adopt-a-learner Foundation (www.adopt-a-learner.com), a non-profit organisation that started in 2004 and provides financial and educational support to students from township and rural areas to acquire higher education qualifications.

Dr Thulani Dlamini (CEO)
CSIR CEO

Dr Thulani Dlamini has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) effective from 1 February 2017. He is no stranger to the CSIR, having served the organisation with distinction for many years.

He joined the CSIR in 2005 as the head of the National Laser Centre and in 2008 he was appointed to the position of Group Executive for Research and Development (R&D), a position he held until 2011 when he left the CSIR to join Sasol. At Sasol he was the Executive Manager: Research and Development and later became Vice-President for Strategic Research and Technology.

Dr Dlamini holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master’s in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa. He has also completed advanced courses in several aspects of technology management in the chemical industry offered by institutions such as the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Photonics Initiative of South Africa and the development of a national strategy for photonics research, development and innovation (RD&I). He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF). Furthermore, he has served on numerous boards including the Sasol Pension Fund, Automotive Industry Development Centre, Sasol Technology UK and Netherlands.

 

Dr Molefi Motuku
CSIR Group Executive: R&D

Molefi Motuku is the Group Executive: Research and Development at the CSIR, a position he has held since 1 June 2012. His portfolio includes leading the organisation's R&D initiatives as well as the management of strategic alliances. Prior to joining the CSIR, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA). He managed the Advance Materials (Physical Metallurgy) Division at Mintek and was later appointed as General Manager: Research and Development before joining NMISA in 2010. Before joining Mintek, he was the Director of the Fort Hare Institute of Technology (FHIT) and prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Tuskegee University, USA. He spent over four years at Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Co. Ltd, Rustenburg Platinum Holdings in the mid-eighties.

Dr Motuku has over 20 years of solid and hands-on strategic, research and development, business, leadership and management experience in science and technology, minerals and mining, renewable energy solutions and the advanced engineering environment.

He is familiar with the National System of Innovation and has experience in working with local and foreign governments at all levels. He has worked very closely with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), the Department of Mineral Resources, as well as the mining industry.

Motuku’s selected past and present board memberships include:

  • Chairperson, Mintek/DST Nanotechnology Innovation, Mintek
  • Council member and past co-opted member, Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Council member, Vaal University of Technology
  • Board member DST/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, the
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • Committee member, South African Strategic Research Infrastructure Forum
  • Adjudication Committee, Technology & Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP), the dti
  • Board member, South African Power Utility Research Advisory Board, Eskom.
  • Board member, THRIP, the dti
  • Board member, FHIT, University of Fort Hare
  • Board member, Lebone II Independent School, Bafokeng Royal Authority

Motuku has a PhD and an MSc degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and proceedings of international conferences, and also presented significantly at local and international conferences and forums. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), USA.

Dr Rachel Chikwamba
CSIR Group Executive: Industrial Development

Dr Rachel Chikwamba was appointed CSIR Group Executive: Industrial Development on 1 May 2017. In this role, she is responsible for formulating and implementing a CSIR-wide industrial development strategy. Prior to her current role, she led the organisation’s Strategic Alliances and Communication portfolio, where she managed the CSIR’s high-level partnerships, stakeholder interactions and associated communication.

Chikwamba joined the CSIR in December 2004 from Arizona State University, US, where she served as a postdoctoral research associate. She has served at various levels of science leadership and was a member of the CSIR Strategic Research Panel for two terms. Chikwamba also championed the development of the CSIR Health Research Impact Area strategy. Prior to her appointment, she was Chief Researcher and Competence Area Manager at CSIR Biosciences where she was instrumental in facilitating major global alliances, which resulted in the transfer of key technologies and skills to the CSIR, and continue to result in collaborative projects and programmes.

Her strong global networks also resulted in her role as CSIR principal investigator on several international research initiatives such as European Union Framework projects; the Gates Grand Challenge on nutritional fortification; NEPAD/Biofisa projects; as well as other large locally funded projects such as the GreenPharm initiative.

Chikwamba is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), where she serves on various committees. As an expert in her field, she has served as a reviewer for several funding agencies, including the US National Science Foundation. She holds a PhD in Genetics from Iowa State University, US, as well as a Master’s degree from the University of Queensland, Australia. She has published highly cited scientific papers in high impact scientific journals. Chikwamba was also an Honorary Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital at the University of London, and has taught postgraduate classes at the University of Pretoria.

Laurens Cloete
Group Executive: Operations

Laurens Cloete was appointed as CSIR Group Executive: Operations on 1 November 2014. In this role, he is responsible for strategy implementation across the CSIR. He joined the organisation in 1991 after participating in the CSIR bursary programme as a Design Engineer. As a researcher in the then division for microelectronics and communication technology, he was awarded two patents relating to radio frequency identification (RFID) systems.

Cloete was appointed as an Operations Manager for CSIR Meraka Institute in 2005. He played a key role in establishing the unit as a significant R&D player in ICT. In 2010, he was appointed as acting Executive Director of the CSIR Meraka Institute and was officially appointed in this position in December 2011. Under his leadership, this unit made significant contributions to the development and management of national strategies, and has made a significant contribution to CSIR's performance as an R&D organisation.

In 2013, he was appointed to the role of Interim Executive Director for CSIR Defence, Peace, Safety and Security unit. During this time, he ensured that there was continuity of operations and delivery on stakeholder expectations. He has implemented a number of initiatives to align the unit more closely with CSIR stakeholders' evolving requirements.

He obtained a Master’s degree in electronic engineering (microelectronics) from the University of Pretoria (UP) in 1993. He serves on a number of boards and advisory structures, including the National Broadband Advisory Council; the Board of mLab Southern Africa; and the UP Department of Computer Science advisory panel. He has been involved in a number of national strategic processes and, in particular, played a significant role in the development of the ICT RDI Roadmap (2013) of the Department of Science and Technology and the National Broadband Policy – South Africa Connect (2013) in the Department of Communications.

Raynold Zondo
CSIR Group Executive: Shared Services

Raynold Zondo’s portfolio includes Human Resources, Strategic Communication, Information and Communications Technology, Information Services, the CSIR International Convention Centre and the Management Services. Zondo has an MSc (Project Management) from the University of Pretoria, MTech (Biotechnology) from Durban University of Technology and BCom (Law) from the University of South Africa. He joined the CSIR’s Manufacturing and Materials Technology unit in 2002 as a quality assurance manager and was later that year appointed as an operations support manager. In 2005, Zondo was appointed as Group Manager: Management Services and became a member of the CSIR Executive Committee in 2007. Before joining the CSIR, he worked for Smith & Nephew Pharmaceuticals and BSN Medical as a regulatory affairs manager. He also worked at Bohme Africa as a quality assurance chemist and research and development chemist. Zondo has also served as chairperson on the board of the South African Quality Institute.

Kenny Kistan (Acting Executive Director)
CSIR Built Environment

Kenny Kistan has been appointed as Acting Executive Director: CSIR Built Environment, with effect from 1 December 2016. Prior to his new role, he was the strategic contract research and development manager in the same unit. Kistan began his career as an educator and later as a lecturer at the Durban Institute of Technology. He has worked in the Department of Higher Education, as well as at the South African Qualifications Authority. He joined the CSIR-Transportek in 1999 as the manager of the then CSIR Technology Transfer Centre which was a collaboration with the US Federal Department. He then went on to become the business development manager of the same unit.

In 2005, he was appointed as the strategic contract research and development manager of CSIR Built Environment. His position entailed working extensively with all spheres of government, particularly at national level and also engaging with The Presidency and Parliament. Kistan spent a portion of his time supporting the work of the CSIR group executives and occasionally the office of the CEO. He was appointed by the Department of Science and Technology as the National Contact Point for transport to the European Union, a position he held for seven years. This position entailed: Representing the interest of all transport researchers and scientists in South Africa and connecting them with their relevant counterparts in Europe, as well as identifying R&D opportunities in the EU for South African researchers.

He is the chairperson of the Southern African Transport Conference Board, the premier transport and infrastructure conference in Africa.

Kistan completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Durban Westville in KwaZulu-Natal. He holds a BA (University Higher Diploma in Education) from the University of Durban-Westville, a BCom and B.Ed from Unisa and Master’s in Management from the then Rand Afrikaans University, which is now the University of Johannesburg. Kistan also holds a certificate from Georgia State University, USA. He has attended several leadership programmes including the CSIR’s Advanced Leadership Programme.

May Hermanus
CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment

May Hermanus was appointed Executive Director: CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment in June 2013. Prior to joining the CSIR, Hermanus was the Director and Adjunct-Professor at the Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry (CSMI) at Wits University. She was formerly the Chief Inspector of Mines for South Africa, and in that capacity, served as Chairperson of both the Mine Health and Safety Council and the Board of the Mining Qualifications Authority. Before joining the Department of Minerals and Energy where she served as the deputy Director-General for Mine Health and Safety in the former Department of Minerals and Energy, she was the Group Health and Safety Manager for Samancor.

Hermanus holds a geology degree from the University of Cape Town and an MSc in physical metallurgy from Wits University. Over the past two decades of her career, she has been instrumental in advancing the field of health and safety in mining as well as integrating these concerns into the fields of environmental protection and broader sustainability across Africa. Her work as an NGO volunteer before becoming the co-ordinator of the health and safety unit in the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa, heralded the start of her involvement in various forums of the United Nations’ International Labour Organization.

She is a member of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and also serves on the boards of the AVENG group, the Council for GeoScience and Responsible Mining Index and CoalTech. 

Johan le Roux
CSIR Implementation Unit

Johan le Roux was appointed as Executive Director: CSIR Implementation Unit with effect from 1 November 2014. The CSIR Implementation Unit consists of the Enterprise Creation for Development; Consulting and Analytical Services; and Strategic Initiatives Implementation Unit.

He has held various leadership positions at the CSIR. Most recently – he was the General Manager for the CSIR Strategic Initiatives Implementation Unit and has also acted as Executive Director for the Implementation Unit from April to December 2013. He was Acting Executive Director: CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing from May 2005 to August 2008. Johan first joined the CSIR in 1990 as a Project Manager for Technology for Small Business Development and Textile Technology Training for Industry.

Johan has served on and contributed to many key South African advisory bodies, including the Automotive Industry Development Centre; the National Manufacturing Advisory Centre of South Africa; the National Cleaner Production Centre; and the Small Enterprise Development Agency. He represents the CSIR in the management and advisory structure of the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative; the National Foundry Technology Network; and the Technology Localisation Implementation Unit.

He completed his studies in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch and has completed management programmes at the University of Cape Town, Groman and the Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.

Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo
CSIR Modelling and Digital Science

Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo was appointed Executive Director of CSIR Modelling and Digital Science (MDS) effective from 1 April 2016, a position he had been acting in since 1 April 2014. Dr Nelwamondo joined the MDS unit in May 2008 and was previously a principal researcher and a competence area manager for Information Security.

He holds a PhD in electrical engineering, with a focus on applied computational intelligence, from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a registered professional engineer and a senior member of the Institute of Electronical and Electronics Engineers. Dr Nelwamondo remains the youngest recipient ever, of the Harvard-South Africa Fellowship Programme, awarded in 2008, which allowed him to complete a post-doctoral research fellowship at Harvard University. Since 2009, he has been a visiting professor of electrical engineering, at the University of Johannesburg and has successfully supervised and co-supervised several students who pursued master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering. He has also been an editor and a reviewer for a number of international journals and has served in programme committees of several international conferences. Dr Nelwamondo has published over 100 research papers in international reviewed journals, conferences and book chapters.

Dr Nelwamondo is a founding member of the South African Young Academy of Science and currently serves on the Department of Home Affairs ministerial advisory committee on modernisation.

Hina Patel
CSIR Meraka Institute

Hina Patel was appointed Executive Director of CSIR Meraka Institute on 1 February 2015, after serving in an acting capacity since 1 October 2013. She joined the CSIR in 1996 as a computer scientist in the Information Delivery Software Programme working in Internet/web-based software systems projects. She studied computer science at the University of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College in London (UK) and has an MSc in technology management and innovation from The Da Vinci Institute of Technology Management. She has extensive management experience which she gained through her CSIR role evolution as a project manager, operations manager, competence area manager and since 2010, as a strategic research and innovation manager at CSIR Meraka Institute.

Patel has been involved in research management for the past 10 years and has played various leadership roles. She was involved in ICT for independent living for persons with disabilities and the aged since 2003, and was the National Accessibility Portal (NAP) initiative leader where she represented South Africa at a number of international fora such as the World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly (WTSA) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Her recent achievement was when Cabinet of South Africa approved the National ICT RDI Roadmap, which she was responsible for leading and driving in partnership with the DST. Her role extends to national and international initiatives and the national system of innovation programmes.

Erlank Pienaar (Acting Executive Director)
CSIR Defence, Peace, Safety and Security

Erlank Pienaar was appointed as acting Executive Director: CSIR Defence, Peace, Safety and Security, with effect from 1 November 2015. Prior to his appointment, he was the Competency Area Manager: Radar and Electronic Warfare Systems.

Pienaar has been at the CSIR since 1988 and his involvement in the development of radar and electronic warfare (REW) components and systems has been of major importance to the South African defence sector and has also contributed to current cutting edge systems. In addition, under his leadership, CSIR’s REW products have also found their way to international markets and formed the basis of international research and development collaborations since South Africa's reintegration into the global electronic warfare and radar communities after 1994.

He has received numerous accolades for his contribution, including, but not limited to, the Defencetek Assegai Award for Innovation Excellence, as well as various CSIR Excellence Awards.

Pienaar holds a BEng (Electronic) degree from the University of Stellenbosch and a BEng (Hons) (Electronic) degree from the University of Pretoria. He has published numerous papers in his field and has presented training courses locally and internationally. He has a strong interest in utilising technology commercialisation as a mechanism to stimulate industrial development in South Africa.

Martin Sanne
CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing

Martin Sanne was appointed as Executive Director: CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing (MSM) on 1 January 2016.

Sanne gained extensive experience working across Africa, Europe and in various countries around the world. He recently headed up the Siemens Africa Smart Grid business, providing solutions to utilities, a broad range of industries and municipalities. With 28 years of engineering and management experience, Sanne brings skills in engineering, research and development (R&D) management, project management, business development, sales and product management, strategic business planning, intellectual property commercialisation, start-ups and venture capital.

A significant part of his career was built with Siemens AG in Germany, where he headed up the line of business for 3G communications solutions at a time when Siemens (then a competitor of Nokia) was amongst the top three GSM and 3G equipment vendors in the world. His other roles at Siemens AG included strategic product portfolio management, product management, technical sales and R&D management.

He was also the Divisional Managing Director and Sales Director for Siemens Telecommunications and Nokia Siemens Networks in Southern Africa. Some of his clients included Telkom, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Celtel.

In a previous role, Sanne helped drive the IT and Internet start-up, SEACOM, where he held strategic positions in South Africa and Mauritius. SEACOM, a highly innovative and privately funded company, brought affordable Internet to South and East Africa, interconnecting to most international communications service providers.

Sanne is a registered professional engineer in South Africa. He completed a BSc in Electrical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand, in 1984, as well as an MSc in Digital Systems at Cranfield University, England in 1987.

Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela
CSIR Biosciences

Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela started her career at the CSIR in 2005 as a post-doctoral researcher specialising in biochemistry and her research work focused primarily on nanotechnology drug delivery systems, while also lecturing immunology and nanotechnology at the University of Pretoria on a part-time basis.

Semete-Makokotlela then moved on to become a McKinsey Leadership Fellow consulting primarily in the pharmaceuticals sector, and other sectors at McKinsey and Company. In 2013, she was appointed General Manager for research, development and innovation at the Innovation Hub. She has a PhD in Biochemistry and molecular genetics from the North-West University as well as a Masters in Management Finance and Investments from Wits Business School.

Operating Units

The CSIR performs relevant multidisciplinary research and development. To do this, the organisation is made up of 10 operational units. These units are bound by the common objective of using science, engineering and technology to contribute to national priorities.

CSIR Biosciences

Research, development and innovation for cutting-edge tools and products for the life sciences sector.
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CSIR Built Environment

Research and development for effective built environments that increase productivity, social development and growth.
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CSIR Defence, Peace, Safety and Security

Science, engineering and technology to help detect threats, secure borders and protect the lives within.
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CSIR Energy Centre

Energy research to help South Africa achieve an energy-secure and low-carbon national economy.
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CSIR Implementation Unit

Supporting government and industry to implement technologies and processes to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
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CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing

Research and development in materials science and manufacturing for aerospace, automotive, bio-based buildings, energy, health and micromanufacturing.
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CSIR Meraka Institute

Information and communications technology research and development to attain a digital advantage for South Africa.
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CSIR Modelling and Digital Science

Advanced mathematics and digital science for modelling, simulation and optimisation in various research fields.
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CSIR National Laser Centre

Researching, developing and implementing laser-based technologies and applications.
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CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment

Science-based insights and solutions to address risks associated with the changing natural environment and the consumption of natural resources.
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