By Mandisa Tselane
The most challenging of times require stable, forthright and strong leadership. In the months since she was named as the new Chairperson for Kagiso Trust in July this year, Mankone Ntsaba has shown every one of those qualities as we move into a changing educational and social-economic landscape.
Ntsaba took over from the Reverend Frank Chikane, a founding member of Kagiso Trust, who ended a six-year term as Chairperson. She has a deep understanding of the operations and goals of Kagiso Trust, having served it in different positions. She has been on the Board of Kagiso Trust since 2009, having served as Deputy Chair and Chair of the Programmes Committee for the last six years. She also served as a member of the Board of Kagiso Tiso Holdings (KTH), Kagiso Africa Investments (KAI) and the advisory Board of Kagiso Shanduka Trust (KST).
She is passionate about community development and poverty eradication, and has worked on various development programmes in rural areas of South Africa. Ntsaba, who runs her own management consulting company in the water and sanitation sector, has an innate knowledge of the issues around water security and supply, and the role these can play in the upliftment of communities.
Ntsaba holds an MSc in Geography, specialising in Water Resources Management, serves as a member of the Board of Rand Water and the Board of Trustees of the Rand Water Provident Fund. She was a lecturer at the Universities of Zululand and Transkei, spent over 10 years as a researcher and consultant at the CSIR and is a former member of the Ministerial Advisory Council at the then Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Over the years she has contributed immensely to the establishment of several NGOs and CBOs whose purpose was to facilitate access to economic empowerment and poverty eradication in rural areas.
Ntsaba describes taking over from Rev Chikane as an honour and that with a “phenomenal” Board behind her during these difficult times, is focused on building on Kagiso Trust’s legacy. Her first 100 days in office has been spent meeting and liaising with numerous stakeholders to align on purpose, projects and efforts during a year where so much is being asked of us all.