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At the end of Women’s month, it is fitting that the University of Cape Town announced that Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe has been duly elected as the next chancellor of the university, a position that she will take up from 1 January 2020.
Dr Moloi-Motsepe takes the reins from Mrs Graça Machel, who was originally elected in 1999. Mrs Machel’s second term will come to an end at the beginning of 2020. The chancellor is elected for a 10-year term. Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe was elected by an Electoral College consisting of holders of UCT academic, PASS (professional, administrative support and service) and qualifications staff, and students on Friday, 30 August.
Mr Sipho Pityana, UCT’s chair of council, after making the announcement commented: “The University is privileged to have Dr Moloi-Motsepe aid as the chancellor of one of the leading institutions in the country and on the African continent. On behalf of UCT, he would like to thank the outgoing chancellor, Mrs Graça Machel for serving the university with remarkable distinction and great commitment for two 10-year terms, which spanned complex moments and incredible milestones.”
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe is a businesswoman and philanthropist who began her career in medicine at the Wits University. She worked in numerous public hospitals in South Africa as well as at the Medical College of Virginia in the United States. Together with her husband, Dr Patrice Motsepe, she started the Motsepe Foundation in 1999, and in 2013 they are known for being the first couple from Africa to join The Giving Pledge.
The chancellor is the titular head of the university and presides at graduation ceremonies, confers degrees, and awards diplomas and certificates in the name of the university. The role of chancellor requires an individual of stature with exceptional personal qualities and integrity. Dr Moloi-Motsepe holds an MBBCh and a diploma in child health from Wits, as well as a diploma in women’s health from Stellenbosch University. Dr Moloi-Motsepe authored a resource guide for women throughout South Africa, The Precious Little Black Book, and has produced the Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative South Africa.
By: Ellouise Muller