The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) is a broad stakeholder body that represents over 100 organisational members in 7 distinct sectors. The diagram shows the sectors (excluding government) and the approximate member proportion per sector.

The Government sector is represented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). However, NSTF engages with all government departments responsible for policies that relate to aspects of science, engineering, technology and innovation.

Each member organisation is represented at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the NSTF, by official representatives appointed by the organisations themselves. The seven sectors elect representatives to the Executive Committee, which meets about seven times a year. Members of the Executive Committee are not remunerated for their services.

  • Science Councils & Statutory bodies (12%)
  • proSET (Professional Bodies) (38%)
  • Business/SOEs (18%)
  • Higher Education (14%)
  • Civil Society (22%)

The Executive Committee/Board has an oversight role and takes fiduciary responsibility for the non-profit company. The Executive Director serves on the Exco/Board, and directs all activities of the NSTF and secretariat/office. The Exco has sub-committees, including the Science Councils committee, and the proSET committee, chaired by members of the Exco.

At the senior management level, the NSTF has two people, the Executive Director and Office Manager (who serves as Financial manager as well).

At the deputy management level, NSTF has five staff members and one volunteer/intern:

  • Human Relations & Financial Officer
  • Committee Secretary & Stakeholder Relations
  • Media, Communications & Marketing Officer
  • Outreach & Communications Officers (responsible for the Share ‘n Dare, and Brilliants programm
  • Database Officer (Bursary Directory, contact and web databases) – This staff position is filled by a volunteer/interns from the National Youth Service programme managed by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), a division of the National Research Foundation (NRF).

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Corporate Governance

There are six directors on the Board of Directors of the Non Profit Company. The Directors and the other members of the Executive Committee, are the following

Prof Ali Dhansay

Prof Ali Dhansay NSTF Chairperson and Director of Company

Ms Jansie Niehaus (NSTF)

NSTF Executive Director and Company Director

Mr Denis Hunt

NSTF Head Adjudicator, Chairman of the NSTF Adjudication
Panel and Director of Company

Ms Mariana Purnell (eGrain)

Business Sector– Main representative

Ms Deidre Penfold (Chemical and Allied Industries Association)

Business Sector – Alternate


Civil Society – Main representative

Prof Marissa Rollnick Civil (Wits)

Civil Society Sector-Alternate

Dr Philemon Mjwara (DSI)

Government Sector – Main representative

Mr Sibongiseni Ndimande (DALRRD)

Additional Government member: Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development – Main representative

Mr Mathala Mokwele (DALRRD)

Additional Government member: Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development – Alternate

Prof Lesley Cornish (Wits)

Higher Education Sector Main Representative

Prof Nnenesi Kgabi (NWU)

Higher Education Sector Alternate

Dr Mlungisi Cele (NACI)

Additional Member: Government Sector – Main representative

Dr Ntsane Moleleki (NACI)

Additional Member: Government Sector – Alternate


proSET representing Professional Bodies and Learned Societies Sector – Main representative

Mr David (Dawie) Botha (South African Academy of Engineering)

proSET representing Professional Bodies and Learned Societies Sector – Alternate


Science Councils and Statutory Bodies Sector – Main representative

Dr Gerda Botha (SACNASP)

Science Councils and Statutory Bodies Sector – Alternate

Dr Mpho Lekgoathi (NECSA)

State-Owned Enterprises Sector Main Representative and New NSTF Vice-Chairperson

Ms Rebaone Mokate (NECSA)

State-Owned Enterprises Sector – Alternate

Prof Brenda Wingfield (University of Pretoria)

NSTF Immediate Past Chairperson and Director of Company

Ms Wilna Eksteen (NSTF)

Office Manager and Secretariat