Molefi Motuku

22nd March 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Molefi Motuku

Molefi Motuku, CEO of national mineral research organisation Mintek

Full Name: Dr Molefi Motuku

Position and Company Name: CEO of the Council for Mineral Technology (Mintek)

Main Activity of the Company: Mintek is a national mineral research organisation dedicated to advancing the South African minerals industry. Specialising in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy, Mintek’s mandate, derived from the Mineral Technology Act, focuses on promoting mineral technology and fostering industry growth through research, development and technology transfer

Date and Place of Birth: December 3, North West province

Schools and Tertiary Education: PhD in Materials Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham, US, 1999; MSc in Materials Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham, US, 1997; BSc in Mechanical Engineering, Tuskegee University, US, 1994; BSc in Physics, Tuskegee University, US, 1994; engineering trade certificate/artisan James Park College, South Africa, 1989; national technical certificate, Shikoane Matlala Technical College, South Africa, 1989

First Job: Apprentice at the JCI mine in 1986

Size of First Pay Packet: R900 a month

Career Path to Date: I previously served as group executive: research, development and innovation, and later acting CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Prior to joining the CSIR, I was CEO of the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA). I managed the Advanced Materials (Physical Metallurgy) Division at Mintek and was later appointed GM: research and development before joining NMISA in 2010. Prior to joining Mintek, I was the director of the Fort Hare Institute of Technology at the University of Fort Hare. Before that, I was an assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at Tuskegee University. I spent more than four years in the mid-eighties in a mining environment at Johannesburg Consolidated Investment

Value of Assets under Your Control: R1-billion

Number of People under Your Leadership: 600

Management Style: I embrace a participatory approach that values everyone's input and contributions

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My mother – she has been my guiding light, source of strength and unwavering supporter throughout the various stages of my journey

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Professor Uday Vaidya, who is currently the Governor’s Chair in Advanced Composites Manufacturing Professor at the University of Tennessee. He identified my potential during my second year as a student and invited me to join his research team. His belief in my abilities was incredibly motivating and inspiring. One of the pivotal moments was when he facilitated my participation in an international conference in China, an opportunity that significantly contributed to my professional growth and development

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Meeting Cheikh Anta Diop – a historian, anthropologist, physicist and politician – would have been an extraordinary opportunity to engage with a pioneering intellect whose multidisciplinary contributions have reshaped our understanding of African history and culture

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Steve Jobs

Philosophy of Life: My philosophy of life aligns closely with the notion that life should be lived to the fullest. I believe in embracing every moment, pursuing one's passions, and continuously seeking growth and self-improvement

Hope for the Future: A united Africa where collaboration, solidarity and shared goals lead to greater prosperity for all

Favourite Reading: Books by Cheikh Anta Diop, including Civilisation or Barbarism, which challenges conventional narratives about African history and culture, shedding light on the continent's pivotal role in shaping human civilisation

Favourite TV Programme: Crime shows on Crime & Investigation, which delve into the fascinating realm of forensic science

Favourite Food/Drink: Pap and vleis, with a generous portion of chakalaka

Favourite Music: Reggae and gospel

Favourite Sport: Softball – I had the honour of captaining my high school team, Barolong High, to provincials twice, and those memories still bring a smile to my face. Even now, I find immense joy in heading to Alexandra to watch the sport, feeling a sense of nostalgia and camaraderie with the players on the field

Hobbies: Farming

Car: Toyota

Pets: Dogs

Married: To Boniswa