Didiza announces new Ingonyama board

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza. Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Published May 23, 2023


Durban - Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza has announced the appointment of new Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) members, bringing an end to months of behind the-scenes discussions involving her office, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube and traditional leaders.

INkosi Thanduyise Mzimela (chairperson), advocate Linda Zama (vice-chairperson) iNkosi Mabhudu Israel Tembe, Dr Thandi Dlamini, Nomusa Zulu, Dandy Matamela, iNkosi Phallang Bokang Molefe, iNkosi Sibonelo Mkhize and Lisa del Grande have been appointed to the board on a fouryear term. The announcement brings to an end the uncertainty that has surrounded the organisation since the previous board’s term ended in November last year.

Mzimela said the absence of a board had hindered ITB functions, and the announcement was a welcome development.

“This means that Ingonyama will now be able to deal with the challenges before it, and play the kind of role that is demanded of it to foster development on the land under its control,” said the

chairperson. ITB CEO Vela Mngwengwe said the board appointments would impact positively on the organisation.

“An organisation like Ingonyama is highly centralised, and the board plays a pivotal role.

“So the board’s appointment means that the operations will be more efficient,” said Mngwengwe.

The new board members include traditional leaders, legal experts, land rights activists and entrepreneurs. The diverse experience of the board members has been cited by some as an important feature that will yield positive results for the organisation.

Board member Del Grande comes with a wealth of experience, especially in land-related matters.

She has worked for a number of organisations, including the Association For Rural Advancement (Afra) and the agriculture advocacy organisation Lima. Her profile indicates she has worked as a programme manager for the Community Works Programme in the KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Yesterday, Del Grande would not comment on her new appointment, referring all questions to the minister, board chairperson or chief executive.

Tembe would also not be drawn on his new role, but pointed to his membership of various organisations over the past 20 years.

“I have been a board member for KZN Liquor Authority, KZN Ezemvelo and Isimangaliso, and have been self-employed, managing my businesses since 2006,” he said.

The KZN House of Traditional Leaders also threw its weight behind the board, saying they were satisfied with the selection and final appointment process.

“We believe the process was thorough and everyone concerned was properly consulted, and are glad that we have arrived at the point where we have a fully constituted board,” said chairperson iNkosi Sifiso Shinga.