MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN 2016/17
Unwavering Servitude to South Africa
Commander Mokhele, he is the Patron of Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government programme. Over the years Commander Tsietsi Mokhele has been unequivocal about his dedication to the service of the people of South Africa. This dedication is evidenced in the journey that Commander Mokhele has been on since the young age of 19 when he joined the few brave South Africans who refused to accept the trajectory that South African was set on. The Commander endured a forced absence from his loved ones by being exiled at the age of 20 and having to be tried and unjustly jailed at the age 22.
His unwavering love and servitude to South Africa saw him being appointed to the Transitional Executive Council and lead the Naval Integration Process as a joint-chairperson. He later served in the new South African Navy as a Commander sea going. That was before he joined the National Ports Authority to address the skills shortage that was at the time threatening the authority. He led the successful turnaround strategy to transform and modernise the marine business into an effective and competitive service where he introduced successful maritime career awareness programmes, trained and employed the first women and black people in technical and senior managerial roles. Commander Tsietsi Mokhele joined SAMSA as chief executive officer in January 2008.
He has been instrumental in transforming the authority into an effective maritime regulator and an authority, championing South Africa’s domestic and global maritime interests. His extensive background in the maritime industry has seen Commander Mokhele lead the process of transforming and repositioning South Africa’s maritime industry into a key economic and strategic sector aligned with South African government’s developmental agenda. He was driving strategic initiatives to make South Africa a leading maritime nation and an International Maritime Services Centre, with a focus on building a national merchant fleet, coastal shipping services, maritime-linked industrial development, using the sector to create jobs and integrate South Africa and the African transport network into global maritime logistics systems for increased trade.
Recently, he has been instrumental in providing strategic thought leadership towards the development of the first ever African Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050. Through his stewardship the focus of the strategy process was shifted from mere safety and security compliance issues to developing a maritime strategic plan that addresses socio-economic challenges by promoting the concepts of African indigenous tonnage supported by African shipping companies, enhancing intra Africa regional trade and integration and reversing the absence of maritime research and skills development capacity.
Besides the academic and professional qualifications obtained at various domestic and international institutions, Commander Mokhele has been a regular participant and sought after speaker at many international forums such as International Association of Ports and Harbours, International Maritime Organisation, African Union and the Tug and Salvage Conference. Under his leadership South Africa has won many bids to host world class maritime events such as the first ever conferences on African soil such as the International Harbour-Masters Association, Diplomatic Conference of the International Organisation. Commander Mokhele is a recipient of notable honours and awards, including Maritime Newsmaker of the Year 2010, Businessman of the Year 2011, Platinum Visionary 2011, Best Public Sector Leader 2012 and Best Public Service Organisation.