UCT appoints former Safika Holdings CFO Babalwa Ngonyama as chair of Council


As part of a transformation drive, Babalwa has been elected as the first woman chair of UCT's council.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has elected former Safika Holdings CFO Babalwa Ngonyama as the new chair of its council, and Nazeema Mohamed as deputy chair of the council. 

The appointment marks the first woman chair and deputy chair on the Council in the UCT’s 100 years of existence, which is part of the university’s transformation drive in the higher institutions of learning.

UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said in a statement: 

“The election of Babalwa and Nazeema also means that the university has women leaders at the helm in the crucial governance, ceremonial and executive roles. Even more historic, it is for the first time that UCT has a female chair of council.” 

Babalwa sits on the boards and audit committees of Implats and Barloworld. Previously she was the group chief internal auditor of Nedbank and an audit partner at Nkonki and at Deloitte’s Financial Institutions Services Team division. She was also the founding chairman of the African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA). 

Nazeema has served as a director of policy development and support in the department of education, she was a transformation manager and director at UCT and Wits, and also a programme officer for the social justice and universities programme area of the Ford Foundation’s Southern Africa office. 

Mamokgethi wished the two women “all the best as they are going to carry out, over the next four years, the task of leading a collective that is responsible for steering the institution at a governance level”. 

UCT’s Council also elected chairs of its main committees, which saw Zama Khanyile being appointed to head the university’s finance committee while Sheila Barsel was named chair of the honorary degrees committee. Malcolm Campbell was given the responsibility to lead the university audit and risk committee, while Pheladi Gwangwa has assumed the role of university human resources committee chair, with Tshidi Mokgabudi overseeing the university’s buildings and development committee. 

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