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Board Members

Ms L Ndlela - Director, Palmer Group Development

Lindiwe Ndlela is a director of PDG (formerly known as Palmer Development Group), a consulting firm that provides policy, strategic and management support to the public sector. She has worked in the in the field of democracy and governance since 1995. Lindiwe has previously worked at IDASA's Local Government Information Centre as a researcher and programme manager and was the Director of the Knowledge Sharing Programme at the South African Local Government Association. She also serves as a board member for IDASA and CASE.

John Aitchison - Professor

Professor John Aitchison was Director of the Centre for Adult Education until 2001 and also Head of the School of Education, Training and Development from 1999 to 2002. He became the first Head of the new School of Adult and Higher Education in December 2004 until his retirement at the end of 2007. He is a graduate of the University of Natal (where he obtained postgraduate degrees with distinction). He was banned and restricted from 1965 to 1976 because of his activities in exposing forced removals by the apartheid government in rural areas of Natal. He has played a significant role in adult education in South Africa, particularly in developing adult education and adult basic education policy at both national and provincial levels.

Mr M Motala - Director

Mohamed Motala is a policy and research professional dedicated to social and economic justice. He has extensive experience in public policy formulation, management, monitoring and evaluation supported by strong research and writing skills. Having worked at a senior level in both the Public and Development sector Mohamed has developed strong conceptual, management and planning skills. He has organisational and working experience ranging from community development to management of national programmes, trade unions, government.


Ms J A Glennie – Director, South African Institute for Distance Education

Jennifer Glennie is the founding director of the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE), a non-profit organization committed to increasing access to lifelong education for all South Africans. SAIDE is known for advocating, developing and propagating quality distance education methods in the Southern African context. As a member of the Minister's Council on Higher Education, Jenny has been active in the formation of the Higher Education Quality Committee. She is the South African government's representative on the board of the Commonwealth of Learning; has contributed to the transformation of Unisa through membership of its council; is the founding president of the National Association of Open and Distance Education in South Africa; and is chairperson of the board of the Community Agency for Social Enquiry. She worked for 15 years in a range of capacities from course developer to director for the Sached Trust – a prominent anti-apartheid education organization. She holds an honours in mathematics from the University of the Witwatersrand and a master's from the Institute of Education in London. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning and, in 2007, was awarded the Chancellor's Medal by the University of Pretoria for her contribution to education.


Jocelyn Vass - Chief Director – Skills for the economy programme - DTI

Jocelyn Vass

Ms Jocelyn Vass is currently a Chief Director at thedti, heading the Skills for the Economy programme. This programme aims to ensure that education and training systems are more responsive to enterprise and industry development needs as per the thedti mandate. Prior to thedti, Ms Vass was a chief research manager at the Human Science Research Council, in the Education, Science and Skills Development (ESSD) programme. She headed the Labour Market and Skills Development unit. Ms Vass is a labour market specialist and holds a MA (Econ) in Labour Studies from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Her research specialisations include skills development, the impact of HIV/AIDS on economic sectors and SMMEs, as well as general labour market inequality. Other work included large-scale research surveys and qualitative studies on minimum labour standards in the hospitality sector and the wholesale & retail sector. Ms Vass is currently registered as a doctoral candidate at the Wits Business School focusing on the relationship between socio-economic status and HIV risk in the workforce.

Peter Alexander, Professor of Sociology

Peter Alexander is professor of sociology at the University of Johannesburg, where he holds the South African Research Chair in Social Changes. His degrees are from London University, and he previously held positions at Oxford University and Rhodes University. He was Director of the Centre for Sociological Research and a founder and board member of the Gauteng City Region Observatory. His books included Racism, Resistance an Revolution, Workers, War and the Origins of Apartheid, Globalisation and New Identities, Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer, and Class in Soweto. His most recent article was on 'Marikana, Turning Point in South African History', published in the Review of African Political Economy. He is currently working on South Africa's Rebellion of the Poor, the Community Work Programme, and a book on global mining history.