National School of Government senior fellows announced

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Public Service and Administration Minister, Senzo Mchunu, has endorsed the appointment of three eminent former senior public servants as inaugural senior fellows of the National School of Government (NSG).

The fellowship programme aims to leverage on the experience and insights of distinguished former public servants, implementation and leadership experts and scholars.

This is in pursuit of an ethical, capable and developmental State, characterised by high levels of professionalism, the department explained.   

The inaugural NSG senior fellows are Dr Cassius Lubisi, Nosipho Ngcaba and Dr Sam Gulube.

According to the department, the fellowship is a voluntary, non-remunerated appointment.

Their role is to support the NSG through programmes, such as participating in thought leadership conversations, the mentorship of new Heads of Department and as advisors.

They will also participate in international masterclasses, peer learning exchanges, and serve as mentors.

The department said it is committed to prioritising women, youth and people living with disabilities as part of the NSG’s drive to accelerate leadership advancement among designated groups. 

The Minister has expressed appreciation to the appointees for availing themselves to support the work of the “reimagined” NSG.

“In addition to distinguished former public servants and leaders, experts in academia and other sectors of society are keen to make a contribution to the revival of the public service by sharing their expertise.

“In order to facilitate a process for actively drawing on these individuals, it has become imperative for the NSG to establish this fellowship programme,” Mchunu said.

Dr Cassius Lubisi

Lubisi is an accomplished academic, advisor, educationist and public sector executive.

He served as Director-General and Secretary of the Cabinet in The Presidency for nearly a decade until his retirement earlier this year. The academic provided strategic leadership and direction in the Presidency and supported the President, Deputy President and Ministers. 

He also served as a link between Cabinet and Forum of South African Directors-General on policy and implementation matters and helped translate the political mandate into government programmes.

He also worked as a Superintendent-General of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Deputy Director-General for General Education and Training and Special Advisor to the late Professor Kader Asmal.

He is a mathematician by trade and was an academic at the now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Nosipho Ngcaba

Ngcaba is the second longest-serving female Director-General since 1994.

She led the Department of Environmental Affairs for 12 years and chaired the Directors-General Cluster on International Cooperation, Trade and Security. 

“The Department of Environmental Affairs was recognised for stable leadership and exemplary performance in the public service, based on automated business processes and sound corporate governance.”

Ngcaba successfully set up public-private partnerships with the building of Environment House, the headquarters of the now Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, which was certified in 2013 as the best green building in South Africa, with a six-star rating.

Ngcaba is also commended for playing a formative role in the domestication and implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“During her tenure as Director-General, South Africa signed the Paris Agreement to Combat Climate Change at COP-21, adopted the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and listed additional world heritage sites under UNESCO.”

Dr Sam Gulube

Gulube is a US-trained surgeon and served as Secretary for Defence from 2011 until August 2020.

As Secretary for Defence, he was the accounting officer of the Department of Defence and principal advisor to Minister of Defence and Military Veterans on defence policy matters.

He previously served as Advisor to the Minister of State Security, CEO of the Universal Service Agency of South Africa and as Director of the National Telemedicine Research Centre at the Medical Research Council of South Africa.

He and Lubisi were co-chairs of the National Joint Command Centre, which provided technical support to the National Command Council on the COVID-19. –

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