Politics / 19 May 2015, 2:35pm / Jabulile S. Nwenya
Cape Town - Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement has appointed former deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge as their new Executive Director, it announced on Tuesday.
Inyathelo is a non-profit organisation known for their strong philanthropic outlook and commitment to building up a stronger, more stable, sustainable and thriving South African civil society through developing sustainable organisations and institutions.
Madlala-Routledge, will be taking up her new post from June 15, taking over from Inyathelo’s founder and outgoing director, Shelagh Gastrow who established the organisation 13 years ago.
“It is a great privilege to hand over the reins to such a highly respected, dedicated and effective civil society leader,” said Gastrow in a statement.
Gastrow mentioned that Madlala-Routledge has many accolades and achievements to her name, which makes her appointment significant. Qualifications and awards Madlala-Routledge holds are an honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town, a Human Rights Award from the University of KwaZulu Natal, and an honorary doctorate from Haverford College, Pennsylvania, USA. In addition to these degrees and awards, she was a recipient of the Tanenbaum Peacemakers in Action Award.
Madlala-Routledge, who said she is looking forward to her new appointment, spoke about her next challenge in the area of building, strengthening and advancing South African society. “I believe my next challenge is to be part of the efforts to rebuild civil society in South Africa. As we enter the third decade of our democratic transition, civil society faces new challenges of insure funding from international donors, decreased support from government and a continuous drain in the leadership pool,” she said.
“Inyathelo is a key organisation supporting the deepening and advancement of democracy in South Africa and provides a much-needed resource to thousands of civil society organisations, as well as our universities and other anchor institutions. Inyathelo’s work to promote the development of a philanthropic movement in South Africa is pioneering, and I look forward to strengthening their efforts to help ensure the long term sustainability and independence of our vibrant civil society sector.”
Over the years, Madlala-Routledge, who Gastrow described as having a “long and distinguished history of campaigning for human rights and working for civil society organisations that deepen and advance democratic participation,” has in addition for her former portfolio as Deputy Health Minister, served as Chairperson of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, and the Deputy Minister of Defence.
Madlala-Routledge’s struggle history credentials go as far back as serving with Cyril Ramaphosa in the Constituent Assembly that drew up South Africa’s Constitution, serving on the national liberation movement as Chairperson of the National Organisation of Women. In recent years, some of the organisations Madlala-Routledge has helped to establish include the African Women’s Peace Table and the women’s human rights organisation, Embrace Dignity.
Madlala-Routledge, who is passionate about women’s right and issues focusing on HIV/Aids, serves on various committees. She currently serves as a non-executive director on the following associations: Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International and Section 21 group, Right to Care, and its subsidiary, Right to Care Health Services that concentrates on providing treatment and care for people living with HIV/Aids.
“Nozizwe has already made an invaluable contribution to our democracy as a liberation hero and human rights champion, and like many of us, she recognises that much work remains. Her willingness to roll up her sleeves yet again is a testament to her dedication, integrity and strength, as well as her deep and enduring commitment to our young democracy,” Gastrow said.