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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.

Appointed: 1999

Dr Paul Jourdan is an independent consultant on resource-based and spatial 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 IDZ programme, with the Coega IDZ 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.

He is also Chair of the Gauteng IDZ Company, on the Board of the GGDA (Gauteng Growth and Development Agency), the CEO of MEMSA (Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa) and a visiting Professor at Wits (SEBS; Development Economics).

Dr Jourdan holds a BSc in Geology and a BA in African Government from UCT; a Postgraduate Diploma in Exploration Geophysics from ITC (in the Netherlands) in Delft; an MSc in Mineral Economics, and MSc in Mineral Policy from Wits University; and a PhD in Politics from Leeds University.


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 socio-economic 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.


Appointed: 2014

Shabeer Khan is the Chief Financial Officer of the dti, leading the Financial Management Services team. Mr Khan is responsible for driving the strategic objectives of the department and aligning its priorities with 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. He is also a member of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) audit committee.

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.


Appointed: 2018 

Ayanda Mjekula, is a member of the Institute of Directors of S.A. He currently holds positions in various boards, including Safika Holdings. He has held board positions at CEF SOC, UBank Limited and the World Petroleum Congress. He is also currently the chairperson of the National Arts Festival- Grahamstown and deputy Chairperson of the council of the University of Fort Hare.

Mjekula has extensive banking experience, having held executive management positions at Nedbank and Standard Bank, over a period of twenty-four years. He was the first black person to be appointed in an executive management position in any bank in South Africa. In 1989, he was honoured with the Black Management Forum/ Kellogs’s manager of the year award, in recognition of his managerial achievements.

As Chief Executive of the South Africa Supplier Development Agency, Mjekula gained extensive experience in enterprise and supplier development. He has played a major role in the energy sector, particularly in the liquid fuels industry. He holds a BA degree in English from the University of Fort Hare and an MBA in Financial Accounting from Western Michigan University.

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