UJ experts appointed to Transnet and Denel boards

South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan appointed several University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) members to serve on a number of state-owned enterprises’ boards.

Minister Gordhan engaged Parliamnent on the changes to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in his portfolio when he reflected on his 86th day in office.

Appointed to Denel’s Directors Board are Prof Tshilidzi Marwala and Dr Hannelie Nel.

prof tshilidzi marwala

Prof Marwala is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UJ. He together with Denel’s 11-member director board is tasked to restore sound corporate governance; review the effectiveness of the management team; review major contracts; and to review the company’s financial position with the view to creating sustainability.

Prof Marwala has received in excess of 45 honours and awards, including the Order of Mapungubwe and the first African engineer awarded the National Research Foundation President’s award. His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University (USA), a Master of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering from Cambridge University. He completed a post-doctoral research associateship at the Imperial College (London) and a programme for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. Prof Marwala is a registered professional engineer, a fellow of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), the Academy of Science of South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences, the South African Academy of Engineering, a senior member of the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and a distinguished member of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery.

Dr Nel Dr Nel is a Senior lecturer in the Postgraduate School of Engineering Management within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE), UJ. She has over twenty years’ experience in both industry and academia and her work entails business and education strategy development; the design, implementation and costing of business and quality management systems; training and education; business research systems; process improvement; and gender advancement in engineering.

Dr Nel is the former President and current Fellow of the Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering, and serves on the Board of the South African Society for Engineering Education. An international author and speaker in her field of expertise, Dr Nel works with international companies and universities and is an associate member of the Institute of Directors. In 2014, she was recognised as a finalist in the Standard Bank Top Business Women Awards; and in 2016, she was invited to join the International Women’s Forum in recognition of her work towards the advancement of technical women. Other related awards include the 2013 WiEBE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Women in Engineering; the 2011 IEEE WIE Award for Human Capital Development in Science, Engineering and Technology; and 2 SAIIE awards for the promotion of industry and academia liaison. In 2017, the Southern African Institute nominated Dr Nel for the prestigious Professor Kris Adendorff Award for outstanding Industrial Engineering professional for Industrial Engineering.

Appointed to Transnet’s Directors Board are Dr Sydney Mufamadi and Mr Aluwani Percy Ramabulana.


Dr Mufamadi Dr Mufamadi is the Director of the School of Leadership in the College of Business and Economics at UJ. As a former minister of provincial and local government and one of the founding members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) who represented the ANC in the Convention of a Democratic South Africa, Dr Mufamadi offers skills and experience in leadership, transformation, labour, and public policy. ​
Mr Ramabulana Mr Ramabulana, who serves on the Advisory Board of the University’s Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, obtained a BSc in chemical engineering from Oregon State University in the US and has an MBA. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and founder of MDZ Fleet Solutions, SA. He was previously the CEO of Daimler Fleet Management SA.

Related articles:

UJ Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala appointed to new Denel interim board

UJ’s Dr Banothile Makhubela part of new Eskom board to reposition the electricity utility as an important contributor to SA’s economy

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