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The CDC’s board members are well-respected, highly qualified experts with significant collective insight into industry, politics, economic and infrastructure development, business, administration, finance, sustainability and investment. They have been carefully selected for their professionalism, knowledge and in-depth understanding of the complexity of managing mega-projects like the Special Economic Zone (SEZ). They also maintain the vision and strategic direction of the organisation, linking it locally, nationally and internationally through industry and business networks, particularly as the CDC expands to assist local, provincial and national government with a number of key social and infrastructure development programmes.

The founding members in particular continue to give their support to the organisation – and other board members – on the non-SEZ developmental imperatives of the new democratic dispensation. Collectively, their institutional knowledge and organisational understanding contribute to maintaining strategic direction and objectives. All board members, however, play an active role in defining, shaping, monitoring and evaluating the annual performance outcomes of the CDC against its overall objectives and bring to the organisation their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Dr Paul Jourdan
Chairperson (acting)

Dr Paul Jourdan (CDC Chairperson) was appointed in 1999.

Dr. Paul Jourdan is an independent consultant on resource-based development strategies, working across several African states as well as for SADC, the AU and UNECA. As Deputy Director-General in  charge of Special Projects at the dti, Jourdan was responsible for the establishment of the SEZ programme, with the Coega SEZ and CDC as pioneer projects. Later, as CEO of Mintek, he contributed to minerals beneficiation  growth strategies, including the planning of the metallurgical cluster at Coega. Dr Jourdan holds a BSc in Geology and a BA in African Government from UCT; a Postgraduate Diploma in Exploration Geophysics from ITC (International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences) in Delft; an MSc in Mineral Economics from Wits University; and a PhD in Politics from Leeds University.

Jan de Bruyn

Appointed: 1999 Jan de Bruyn was Chair of the Manufacturing Development Board of the dti since inception in 1993 until it closed down in 2017. De Bruyn has served on, and in many cases chaired, the boards of leading South African corporates, including Algorax, Gencor, Hulett Aluminium and Saldanha Steel, as well as the Small Business Development Corporation (now Business Partners), the Council of the Technicon Witwatersrand (now part of the University of Johannesburg and the executive of the Afrikaans Handelsinstituut (AHI). He is also a trustee of the Asbesrus Relief Trust.

Mninawe (Pepi) Silinga
Chief Executive Officer

Mninawe (Pepi) Silinga (CDC Chief Executive Officer) was appointed 1999.

Mninawe (Pepi) Silinga is the founding CEO of the CDC, appointed on the establishment of CDC in 1999. Silinga is a professionally registered Civil Engineer (Pr. Eng), Project Manager (PMP), Chartered Director  (C.Dir) and a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineers (SAAE). He holds a BSc (Eng) from the University  of KwaZulu-Natal, MSc (Eng) (Wits) and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in the UK, and has participated in management programmes with Unisa (MDP),  Stellenbosch (CMP), Oxford and INSEAD (AMP). Silinga’s distinguished service and outstanding contribution to socioeconomic development in the Eastern Cape through bringing the vision for the Coega SEZ to life was recognised in late 2014 with the Prestige Award of the NMMU Council.

Pumelele Ndoni

Appointed: 2007 Pumelele ‘Bicks’ Ndoni has played a leading role in local government since 1996 when he was elected as a councillor on the Uitenhage Transitional Local Council. He served as Mayor of Uitenhage from 1999 to 2000, when the Nelson Mandela Metropole was formed to include Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch. He served as Portfolio Councillor for Infrastructure, Engineering and Energy in that structure until 2001 and was appointed the first Deputy Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay in 2002, serving in that position until 2009. Ndoni previously worked at Goodyear in Uitenhage and holds a BA degree from Vista University

Sybert Liebenberg

Sybert Liebenberg (CDC Board Member) was appointed in 2010

Sybert Liebenberg, is a seasoned public sector executive with experience in research, strategy development and operational management. He previously served as acting Head of Department for the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. He is currently in private practice. Dr Liebenberg holds BA, BA Hons (Political Science) and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Stellenbosch, and a DPhil in Development Studies from NMMU.

Sipho Zikode

Sipho Zikode (CDC Board Member) was appointed in 2011.

Sipho Zikode is the acting CEO of Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), and a Deputy Director-General of the dti, responsible for the Broadening Participation Division. He joined the Technology Promotion Division of the dti in 1997, having obtained a BCom (Economics) from Wits University. His career path at the dti saw him rise to Deputy Director: Defence Portfolio and then Chief Director: Industrial Participation in 2003. He was appointed to his current position in 2011. Zikode also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management (Unisa), a National Diploma in Chemical Engineering from Mangosuthu Technikon and an MBA from the University of Pretoria.

Babalwa Lobishe 

Babalwa Lobishe (CDC Board Member) was appointed in 2014

She holds the portfolio of EconomicDevelopment, Tourism and Agriculture on the mayoral executive committee of the NMBM. She joined the ANC in 1999 and assisted in community mobilisation and development. She was elected as a branch secretary for the South African Student Congress in 2000 and served on the provincial executive of the ANCYL from 2008 to 2010. From 2008 until recently, Lobishe was an ANC regional leader on the Sports and Economic Development desk.

She was deployed to the mayoral committee in the Sports, Arts and Culture portfolio in 2011 and moved to her current position in 2013. Lobishe has a BCom degree from NMMU and is currently studying towards her Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Fort Hare.

Advocate Thandi Norman

Advocate Thandi Norman  (CDC Board Member) was appointed in 2014

Advocate Thandi Norman SC was admitted as an advocate in Bhisho in 1992, and to the Bhisho Bar in 1997. She took silk in 2011. She brings valuable expertise to the CDC Board through her preferred areas of practice in shipping, competition, constitutional and administrative law. She has appeared in the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal, in various High Courts, the Land Claims Court and Labour Court. Adv Norman chaired the RTI Commission (February 2013 to March 2014) and acted as evidence leader in the Pillay Commission (2005) and the Goldstone Commission (1995), both in the Eastern Cape.  

She was also a Presiding Officer at the country’s first democratic elections and has acted as a judge from time to time since June 2002 in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.Adv Norman holds a BJuris LLB degree and a Certificate in Shipping from the Chartered Institute of Shipping.

Shabeer Khan

Shabeer Khan (CDC Board Member) was appointed in 2014

Shabeer Khan is the Chief Financial Officer of the dti, leading the Financial Management Services team responsible for the department’s overall spending and aligning prioritieswith the necessary funding to ensure the dti achieves its objectives. He is a member of the dti’s Executive Board as well as the Bid,  Risk and Ethics committees. Khan holds a BCom Honours degree and is a registered Chartered Accountant.  He joined the dti in 2013, having previously worked for the Auditor-General of South Africa where he was  responsible for managing numerous audit portfolios and taking the lead in many United Nations audit assignments.

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