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Dr Xolani Humphrey Mkhwanazi, Chancellor, VUT - a giant has fallen

An academic giant, scientist and a businessman has fallen. Vaal University of Technology (VUT) executive management, community and alumni are saddened and shocked by the sad news of the passing of Dr Xolani Humphrey Mkhwanazi.

Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi was appointed as the Chancellor of VUT in 2017. The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on him for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development, and for his equally outstanding contributions to the energy and mining business arenas, notably in South Africa.

An eminent leader, and for his outstanding and leading international and national reputation in his field of global leadership, Dr Mkhwanazi was also bestowed with an honorary doctorate by Lancaster University in July 2019.

Dr Mkhwanazi was an internationally experienced senior business leader, serving as a non-executive director in several reputable companies. He had extensive executive leadership, business and technical experience in the energy, mining and public sector. His knowledge and understanding of public policy and current government priorities, coupled with sound networks in both the public and private sectors, set him apart. As an executive coach, he had a passion to grow, guide and nurture newly appointed executives.

Dr Mkhwanazi was a former Executive Chairman of BHP Billiton Southern Africa, a position he held for seven years, from 2008 to 2015. He joined BHP Billiton in February 2005 as President and Chief Operating Officer of BHP Billiton Aluminium Southern Africa. Before then, Dr Mkhwanazi was CEO of Bateman Africa, a position he held from 2004. He was previously CEO of the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa, where he was responsible for rebuilding the organisation into a world-class regulatory authority. He was also responsible for setting up and leading several regional and Africa-wide regulatory bodies. He was President of the Chamber of Mines for the period 2010 to 2012.

We convey our heartfelt condolences to the Mkhwanazi family, friends and business partners on the tragic loss of this giant of our African soil.

May his soul rest in peace.

Issued by: VUT Executive Management