Minister of Environmental Affairs
Ms Nomvula Mokonyane
Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, a former Premier of Gauteng Province, was born on June 28 in the West Rand township of Kagiso. She is the youngest in a family of 12, with six sisters and five brothers. She matriculated at Masupatsela High School in Kagiso. She is a veteran of the struggle and participated actively in the fight against apartheid from the tender age of 15. A founder member of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS).
She was an organiser in the Federation of Transvaal Women and a leader of the Kagiso Residents’ Organisation. She was also active in trade unions as a shop steward and leader of the Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (now SACCAWU). During this period, she was continually harassed and detained by the apartheid security police.
Since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994, Ms Mokonyane has served in a number of leadership positions in the ANC and its Alliance structures, including being a member of the Central Committee of the SA Communist Party; Executive Committee Member of the ANC Women’s League and National Executive Committee member of the ANC.
Minister Mokonyane served in the Gauteng Legislature from 1994 in various portfolio committees before she was appointed MEC of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment in 1996. She became MEC for Safety and Liaison from 1999 to 2004 and was appointed Housing MEC between 2004 and 2009. In 2009, after the general elections, she was appointed Premier of Gauteng. In 2014, she was appointed the Minister of Water and Sanitation, and in 2018, she was appointed Minister of Communications and later the Minister of Environmental Affairs.
Ms Mokonyane received training in Local Government and Planning Management and Community Development in Sweden. She completed a certificate course in Emerging Economics at the Wharton Business School at Pennsylvania University and studied leadership and governance at Harvard University in the USA.Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs
Deputy Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs
- Deputy Minister has studied Leadership Communication as well as Government Policy with the University of Rhodes.
Career / memberships / positions / other activities
- Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson has been part of the struggle before the dawn of democracy in South Africa.
- She has served at various levels of the ANC structure in Kwa-Zulu from branch up to the Provincial structures of the ANC as well as the ANC Women’s League.
- She has been instrumental in organising formal structures of the ANC at the height of political violence in the then Midlands Region.
- Deputy Minister worked very closely with the ANC stalwart, Mr Harry Gwala.
- She currently serves as the Provincial Treasurer of the ANC Women’s League in the KZN province.
- In 1995 she was elected to the National Assembly as a Member of Parliament where she served in various committees including Agriculture, Transport, Public Works and others.
- In 1999, she was re-elected to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) where she served as a Provincial Whip.
- She served on Mineral & Energy, Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women, Children, Youth & Persons with Disabilities as well as the Joint Rules of Parliament.
- She was appointed to Chair the Committee of Women, Children, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.
- In 2010, she was appointed by President Zuma as a Deputy Minister of Energy where she championed increased access and participation of women in the energy sector. Rural development and advocacy are her key strengths.
- In 2014, she was re-elected Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs where she continues to champion participation of marginalised communities in the environmental sector.
Date of birth: 20 February 1966
Marital status: Married
Director-General of the Department of Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa.
- Matric Exemption
- BSC (Physiology & Biochemistry)
- Higher Diploma in Education with distinctions on physical science and geography teaching
- Other Certificates in Total Quality Assurance, Business management practice, Franklin Covey (7 Habits of highly effective people and Focus), Havard Certificate on Negotiations
Career / memberships / positions / other activities
- Nosipho Ngcaba joined the public service in 1998
- More than ten years experience in senior management positions, focusing on strategic leadership, public service administration, performance management, project management and financial accountability, three years working in a corporate environment as a professional in quality assurance and analytical research laboratory.
- Have acquired competencies in a number of areas in particular policy development, strategic leadership, business process engineering, performance management, analytical work, partnerships activation and fostering cooperation networks. Aided by involvement in various fields of specialization, including exposure to knowledge applications in particular areas of biological science, sustainable resource management.
- Occupied various positions such as the Chief Operating Officer former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, (DEAT), Chief Director Project Management Unit, Director Environmental Impact Management and Regional Programme manager Working for Water programme.
- She was appointed to serve various institutions as a member of the board
- Board Member of the National Botanical Institute 2002/3/4/5
- Board Member South African Tourism 2006/7/8
- Board member South African Biodiversity Institute 2007/8
- As a sport and student activist, occupied various leadership positions in sports executive bodies and student associations in the Western Cape (Convener-Sports Council, treasurer Association of student residents, and Gender officer South African Students Congress).
Deputy Director-General of Environmental Affairs
Marital status: Married.
Deputy Director-General: Environmental Programmes, Department of Environmental Affairs.
- PhD in Environmental Science.
Positions / career / memberships / other activities
Dr Preston is responsible for environmental Biosecurity, focusing on the prevention of the introduction of potentially invasive species into the country, as well as regulating invasive species within the country, in implementing the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations, 2014, of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).
Dr Preston leads fourteen programmes with high environmental and economic returns on investment, that together provide work opportunities for over 70,000 previously unemployed workers, aligned to the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP):
Natural Resource Management Programmes:
- The Working for Water programme, to control invasive alien species, because of the damage to biological diversity, water security, the productive use of land, soil erosion, wild fire exacerbation and many other negative impacts.
- The Working on Fire programme, to manage fire, both controlled fires, for their positive attributes for ecosystem functioning, and wild fires, for their negative impacts on life, livelihoods, the spread of invasive alien plants and other consequences.
- The Working for Wetlands programme, to manage wetland conservation and repair, for the benefits of water quality, quantity, flood attenuation, biological diversity, food security and disease management, among other attributes.
- The Working for Ecosystems programme, to manage the rehabilitation of degraded landscapes, again for benefits that include the productive use of land, the ecological functioning of natural systems, food security, and a myriad of other critical outcomes.
- The Working for Energy programme, where the specific focus for biomass-to-energy options have significant prospects to utilize invasive alien plant biomass (and bush-encroachment biomass) to help meet the short-term energy needs of the country, whilst providing biological diversity, water and many other benefits similar to Working for Water.
- The Working for Forests programme, which focuses on the conservation of indigenous forests, but also seeks to turn stands of invasive plants into woodlots that can be used for the saw-log industry and the needs of resource-poor communities, and which can be gradually converted to mosaics of diverse, non-invasive sources of timber.
- The Eco-Furniture Programme, which seeks to make products needed by Government (e.g. school desks, furniture, coffins and building materials) from invasive alien plant biomass, once again with all the ecological and social benefits that come with such work.
Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programmes:
- The Working on Wasteprogramme, which addresses opportunities to reduce, recycle, re-use and repair, thus minimizing the need for waste landfill sites, and turning potential waste into resources (including waste-to-energy opportunities), and with a special focus on youth jobs in waste.
- The Greening and Open-Space Management programme, which promotes infrastructure and greening interventions that enhance a quality of life and sense of place, through the planting of trees, development of nurseries, food security programmes, maintenance of cultural resources, and the promotion of renewable and other conservation technologies.
- The Working on Land programme, which promotes the restoration of degraded land, and the potential for the productive use of land, focusing on poor rural communities.
- The Working for the Coast programme, which focuses on coastal rehabilitation, including on degraded dunes and estuaries, boardwalks and other facilities promoting eco-tourism, plastic and other litter pollution, water quality monitoring, and life-saving capacities.
- The People and Parks programme, which develops opportunities in protected areas that will enhance the viability of the protected areas, with significant benefits to the neighbouring communities, including infrastructural interventions (e.g. tourism facilities, roads, fencing, ranger accommodation) and ecosystem-repair interventions.
- The Wildlife Economy programme, to secure the potential benefits of land under wildlife, with a particular focus on ecosystem services through appropriate land-use practices, food security, black economic empowerment, rural development, sustainable jobs and optimum returns on investment from land, through game breeding, eco-tourism, hunting and ranching opportunities. It also provides Environmental Monitors in protected areas.
- The Youth Environmental Services programme, which trains young South Africans in a range of environmental skills, and seeks to place them where these skills can be used to promote environmental outcomes.
Dr Preston also leads the Information Management and Sector Co-ordination responsibility of the Branch, focusing on the co-ordination of EPWP work for the Environmental and Culture Sector, data management, knowledge management, advocacy, information systems, monitoring and evaluation, and compliance management.
Former head of Research at the Environmental Evaluation Unit at the University of Cape Town, prior to joining the Civil Service, after democracy, in April 1995. He was Special Advisor to Minister Kader Asmal (1995-1999) and to Minister Ronnie Kasrils (1999-2001), as well as running major programmes for the then Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.
Former Executive Board Member and Chairperson of the Global Invasive Species Programme.
Marital status: Married
Deputy Director General: Legal, Authorisations, Compliance and Enforcement: Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
- BA Degree
- BProc Degree
- Masters in Business Administration
Environmental Management Inspectors course
Certificate Courses: Advanced International Training Programme in Public Service Management (Sweden); Supervisory Training; Franklin Covey; Financial Management training; GMDP Network Sessions, General Litigation course (Justice), PS8 Project Management, Middle Management Training Course (Justice), Practical Law School, Internal Training programmes (State attorney), Misconduct Courses (Justice), Negotiation Skills Course (CLE), Trial Advocacy in the High Court (CLE), Trial Advocacy (BLA)
Positions / career / memberships / other activities
Ishaam Abader joined the public service in 1997 as a State Attorney after a period in the private sector (FMCG and attorneys practice) for DEA.
He has held the following posts and participated in the following structures during his career:
- Admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa
- Right of appearance in the High Court
- State Attorney
- Chief Director: Legal (DEA)
- DDG: Corporate Affairs (DEA)
- DDG: LACE (current)
- Grade I Environmental Management Inspector (Head of Green Scorpions)
- Council of Geo Science Board member
- SAWS Board member
- National Nuclear Regulator Board member (current)
- Membership: Law Society of South Africa
- Membership: IoDSA
International cooperation and negotiation
- Leader of DEAT delegation for various International Negotiations (including, but not limited to Tourism negotiations, Montreal Protocol, ABS, WHC)
- Leader of DEAT delegation to Finland and Sweden – Ministry of Environmental Affairs: Integrated Permitting
- Leader of DEAT delegation to USA – Study Tour on National Parks Revenue Generation & Sustainable Use
- Leader of DEAT delegation to Geneva – CITES Ministerial Dialogue and Senior Officials Meeting for key States concerned with the illegal trade in rhinoceros horn
- Leader of DEAT delegation to Lyon - Interpol Wildlife Crime WG
- Member of the Priority Committee on Wildlife Crimes of the NATJOINTS
- Co-chair of Departmental Acquisition Committee
- Leader of the Inter Departmental Project Implementation Committee (IPIC) task team
- Chair: Project Evaluation Committee: DEA Green Building