Mkhulu Mathe

4th October 2019

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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Full Name: Mahlanyane Kenneth Mathe

Position and Company Name: Manager at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Main Activity of the Company: Managing the research of the groups: HySA Infrastructure, Clean Energy Technologies and Electrochemical Energy Technologies

Date and Place of Birth: January, 21, 1965, Kroonstad, Free State

Education: Executive development programme, Stellenbosch Business School, 2010; management advancement programme, Wits Business School, 2007; PhD (electroanalytical chemistry), the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, US, 2003; MSc (physical chemistry), University of Transkei, 1997; BS (chemistry), Elmira College, Elmira, New York, US, 1988

First Job: Mathematics, biology and physical science teacher at Kananelo Senior Secondary School, Kroonstad

Size of First Pay Packet: R245

Career Path To Date: Teacher, university lecturer, postgraduate student, postdoctoral research associate, research group leader and currently manager

Value of Assets under Your Control: The CSIR business is approaching R2-billion

Number of People under Your Leadership: 31 staff members

Management Style: Consultative and participatory

Personal Best Achievement: Growing the Energy Materials group into a leading global research group whose scientist are sought after the world over

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My father and my mother

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Professor John L Stickney, my PhD supervisor

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Professor Paul Alivisatos, of the University of California, Berkeley

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Discovery founder Adrian Gore

Philosophy of Life: Do good because it feels good to do good without expecting anything in return

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Admission to the University of Georgia’s PhD programme

Biggest Ever Disappointment: Not being able to attend my younger brother’s funeral in 2004 as I was on a single-entry work visa in the US

Hope for the Future: To live in a South Africa that is a maturing, winning nation with unemployment in the single digits, anchored by an excellent education system in a thriving economy

Favourite Reading: Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning and Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead

Favourite TV Programme: Educational programmes

Favourite Food/Drink: Stews and steamed bread with coffee

Favourite Music: Jazz

Favourite Sport: Basketball

Hobbies: Photography, writing, travelling, collecting fridge magnets from travels

Car: Mercedes-Benz C200 Avant Garde

Pets: None

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Unreliable and manipulative people

Married: To Piliswa Obtavia Mathe

Children: Selloane, 32; Mandla, 29; Fikile, 11

Clubs: World of Golf, Woodmead; Virgin Active, The Reeds Mall

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor




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