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Executive directors

UCT’s executive directors are:

Acting Executive Director: Alumni and Development

Sidney van Heerden
Sidney van HeerdenSidney van Heerden is the acting executive director of the Development and Alumni Department (DAD). DAD is a key role player in advancing the objectives of the university by aligning institutional advancement (fundraising and alumni strategies) with the university’s strategic plan (Vision 2030). DAD ensures that both fundraising and alumni relations strategies yield adequate resources to support the university’s mission at a time when higher education funding streams face significant challenges. The department continuously explores new areas of funding and donor support, particularly also internationally.

Van Heerden joined UCT in December 2014 following a career of 21 years in the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) spending 13 years at various diplomatic missions abroad. In 2002 he joined the Stellenbosch Foundation at Stellenbosch University and thereafter UCT as the deputy director in DAD. He is an alumnus of Stellenbosch University.

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Executive Director: Communication and Marketing

Gerda Kruger
Gerda KrugerGerda Kruger is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring professional and strategic communication and marketing across UCT and to all stakeholders to ensure the appropriate positioning of the university in South Africa and internationally.

She holds a BA (Hons) in psychology and a national higher education diploma from the Rand Afrikaans University. She has a master’s degree from UCT.

Kruger spent most of her working career as a journalist for Nasionale Pers and later Independent Newspapers.

She joined AngloGold as a senior communications officer and in 1999 joined UCT as the director of communications. She was later appointed as executive director of communications and marketing.

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Executive Director: Finance

Vincent Mohau Motholo
Vincent Mohau MotholoVincent Mohau Motholo has been appointed as the executive director of finance from 1 October 2021.

Motholo is a qualified chartered accountant and registered auditor and joins the university from the largest South African black-owned accounting and advisory firm, SizweNtsalubaGobodo Grant Thornton (SNG Grant Thornton), where he was partner and director in the assurance division.

Not new to the South African higher education environment, Motholo also has extensive experience as an audit partner in this field with clients including the University of Johannesburg, University of Limpopo and Central University of Technology. He has also worked with the University of the Witwatersrand.

He is currently the chairperson of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and has served on its Audit and Risk Committee as an independent non-board member. He has also served on various other committees, including the Banking Sector Training Authority’s Independent Finance and Remuneration Committee, the South African State Theatre’s Audit and Risk Committee and the Independent Police and Investigative Directorate’s Risk Committee where he was chairperson.

He has co-authored a textbook and two question books: Auditing Fundamentals in South African Context (1st and 2nd Edition), Applied Questions on Auditing (7th Edition) and Auditing Fundamentals in South African Context: Graded Questions.

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Executive Director: Human Resources

Miriam Hoosain
Miriam HoosainMiriam Hoosain was appointed as executive director of human resources (HR) from 1 January 2011.

Hoosain has many years of experience in management and human resources at UCT. She started in the university’s HR Department in 1999, when she was employed as an employment equity officer. She rose steadily up the ranks over the years and served as senior HR advisor to the Faculty of Health Sciences after June 2004. In August 2010 she took over as acting executive director of HR.

Before moving into the field of human resources, Hoosain worked as a scientist at the Centre for Epidemiological Research in the Medical Research Council, as a researcher for the Gender Equity Unit and as a lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of the Western Cape. She also worked as a researcher in the New York Psychiatric Institute in the United States.

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Executive Director: Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS)

Richard van Huyssteen
Richard van HuyssteenRichard van Huyssteen has been the Executive Director: Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) since 1 November 2018.

Mr Van Huyssteen is not new to the University of Cape Town (UCT), having served as the Director: Systems Division within ICTS since 2014. In this role he was responsible for the provision (identification and selection, implementation, incremental enhancement and integration) and support of application systems that support identified aspects of university administration, teaching and learning, and research.

With a BCom (hons) in information systems management (first class) from UCT and an eye for identifying areas for improvement, he initially joined UCT as manager of the Faculty of Science in 1994. Three years later he was seconded as user representative to the Project to Revolutionise Information Systems and Management project. His valuable input led to him becoming project manager of the Integrated Student Information System project from 2003 to 2006.

In 2006 he established the Student Systems Support section within the Office of the Registrar, which ensures that UCT makes effective use of its student administrative systems. Under his leadership, changes to the degree certification process resulted in this key business process becoming faster and more secure. Other upgrades included putting a system in place to support the postgraduate memorandum of understanding, which improved the readmission application process, and developing an early warning system to assist with the identification of students who are struggling academically.

Mr Van Huyssteen is a founder member and past chair of the Southern African Higher Education User Group (SAHEUG), which aims to foster collaboration between a group of software customers in the southern Africa region. Through this collaboration, UCT and three other South African universities co-developed the revised functionality required to enable them to integrate with the new student-centred process implemented by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. He is also a member of the Oracle Global Education and Research Industry Strategy Council.

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Executive Director: Properties and Services

Mughtar Parker
Mughtar ParkerMughtar Parker has been appointed as the executive director of Properties and Services with effect from 1 July 2018. Mughtar has a BCom degree in accounting from the University of the Western Cape and two diplomas from Corenet Global in Atlanta, USA. Both Corenet's Diplomas entitles him to hold the professional designations of Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) and Senior Leader of Corporate Estate (SLCE), making him the first person to hold such designation within Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mughtar’s career spans over two decades of senior management roles at several listed companies including KPMG, Old Mutual, Telkom, Liberty and the University of the Witwatersrand. His industry class experience includes financial services, telecommunications, government/parastatals and academia. Asset class experience includes corporate campuses, branches, malls, telecoms masts/towers, network buildings and data centres. He has managed real estate portfolios spanning various countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Mughtar has exceptional experience in all facets of the corporate real estate services suite. At a strategic level this includes real estate strategy development, property services strategy, property development, organisational change, operating model design and real estate supply chain/procurement strategy.

He has worked with global consulting firms such as Accenture and McKinsey and has also consulted for state-owned enterprises such as Public Works and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

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Executive Director: Research

Dr Linda Mtwisha
Dr Linda MtwishaDr Linda Mtwisha was appointed executive director from 1 October 2020.

Dr Mtwisha has joined UCT from the University of Johannesburg, where she was the senior director of strategic initiatives and administration.

She has a strong background and extensive experience in the research sector. She began her career as a post-doctoral fellow at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. In this position she assisted in setting up a new proteomics research platform. After a year she was promoted to senior scientist. In both positions, she was one of the major players in providing strategic and operational guidance in the establishment and capacitating of a fully-fledged state-of-the-art research platform, while also involved in research activities.

Dr Mtwisha’s qualifications include a PhD in biochemistry from UCT and a master’s degree in business leadership from the University of South Africa. She graduated with a BSc in biochemistry and microbiology from the University of the Western Cape.

She was also a programme director at the National Research Foundation (NRF), managing the South African Research Chairs Initiative. The initiative is the Department of Science and Technology’s strategic intervention intended to strengthen and improve research and innovation capacity of public universities for producing high quality postgraduate students, research, and innovation outputs.


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Executive Director: Student Affairs

Pura Mgolombane
Pura MgolombaneMr Pura Mgolombane has been appointed as the executive director of student affairs with effect from 1 February 2021. He is responsible for overseeing the provision of support and development services to the UCT student body.

With over 20 years of experience working with students, Mr Mgolombane is an ideal person to lead such an integral department.

The executive director oversees:

  • Student Development
  • Student Financial Aid
  • Student Wellness
  • Student Housing
  • Residence Life.

Mr Mgolombane joins us from the University of the Free State (UFS), where he held the position of Dean: Student Affairs. He is well versed in higher education, having worked in student affairs at no less than six institutions of higher learning in South Africa. After starting his career in higher education at the then Technikon Pretoria (now Tshwane University of Technology) as a facilitator in student governance, he continued to show strategic insights, the ability to make decisions and leadership skills – which culminated in his appointment as Dean: Student Affairs at UFS in 2016. During his time at UFS, among other things, he was responsible for creating humanising conditions for students in their daily lived experiences that are critical for social justice, social cohesion and academic success. As a university that aims to help build leaders of the future, these experiences and insights are invaluable to UCT.

Having held positions such as Director: Student Affairs; Head of Department: Student Ethics and Judicial Services Department; Project Manager: Transformation and Diversity; and Manager: Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice at various top universities across the country, Mr Mgolombane also has a keen understanding of what it takes to manage a department responsible for students, who are the key stakeholders of a university.

Besides his many career accomplishments, Mr Mgolombane holds numerous academic qualifications, including a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in corporate law, a PGDip in applied ethics for professionals, an honours degree in employment relations, a Master of Commerce in business management and a Master of Arts in diversity studies. These qualifications not only enhance his ability to engage in student matters, but also his ability to lead a diverse team with widely different skill sets and objectives.

Mr Mgolombane also played a role in the development of the student affairs profession through serving as the Deputy President of the National Association for Student Development Practitioners and, currently, as the Secretary General of the South African Association of Senior Student Affairs Professionals.

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Executive Director: University Libraries

Ujala Satgoor
Ujala SatgoorMs Ujala Satgoor has been appointed the Executive Director: Libraries, effective from 1 January 2019.

Ms Satgoor brings with her years of experience in the higher education environment. She has previous experience as the director of library services at Rhodes University, and as the deputy director of library services at the University of Pretoria.

Her current leadership roles include being the chair of the Committee of Higher Education Libraries of South Africa (CHELSA), deputy chair of the South African National Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC), chair of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) Professional Body Advisory Committee, and a member of the Council on Higher Education Reference Group: Library and Information Science. She is also the former president of LIASA (2012–14) during which time she accepted the bid to host and co-chaired the National Committee for the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) held in August 2015 in Cape Town.

Ms Satgoor believes that the greatest asset of an institution is its diversity and human capital, and that success depends on a work environment that values and develops its employees. As a leader she recognises the importance of staff development as a strategic imperative for institutional alignment and responsiveness.

Beyond academia she has served as a partner to the Mortenson Centre for International Library Programs, University of Illinois, and a consultant to various international and national organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries project, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Building Strong Library Associations (BSLA) programme, the African Library Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the World Library Partnership and the Goethe-Institut.

Her research has focused on the South African library and information services landscape from both a historical and current perspective (post-1994), looking at the context within which libraries function, library governance, government funding for redress, library technologies, library and information services education and the professional association. She believes that libraries are important in meeting the goals of the national development agenda towards entrenching a strong democracy and an educated and informed nation.

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