Sipho Pityana


Sipho Pityana is the Chairperson of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) and a businessman. A former Director General in the formative years of a democratic South Africa in the departments of Labour and later Foreign Affairs, he played an important role in laying the foundations to our democratic constitutional order, introducing the labour reforms that changed the face of South Africa's labour relations system and labour markets.

This included establishing important institutions of social dialogue such as the NEDLAC, Millenium Labour Council (MLC), CCMA and various collective bargaining institutions. In this regard, he represented government in various international fora including the ILO. As Director General for Foreign Affairs, he played an important part in developing NEPAD, transitioning from the OAU to the AU, and organising the UN World Conference Against Racism and the World Summit on Sustainable Development. He drove an agenda under President Mbeki for Africa centered foreign policy and the development of a professional diplomatic service. In this capacity, as the country's top diplomat, he represented the country at various international fora including the UN, SADC, AU, Commonwealth and bilateral interactions.

Mr Pityana, who holds a BA (Hons) in Government and Sociology from University of Essex, an MSc in Politics and Sociology from the University of London and a DTech (Honorary) VUT, has a strong record of involvement in academia including his tenure as the Academic Registrar and Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare. In 1992 he published a book Beyond the Factory Floor the first ever survey of COSATU shop stewards. He has published and presented papers at various fora on a wide range of social science subjects. He served on the Board of the HSRC and editorial board of various local and international publications.

Mr Pityana joined the private sector in 2002 as an Executive Director: Nedcor Investment Bank. He serves as the Non-Executive Chairman of Munich Re-Insurance, Director of Anglo Gold Ashanti, Afrox, Scaw Metals and Aberdare Cables. He is also the founder and Chairman of Izingwe Capital – a black owned investment company group. He is a member of various business organisations including Business Leadership South Africa.

He has a long history of political activism and suffered detention without trial, torture and banning orders. a former student activist and trade unionist. He became a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Congress on Trade Unions (SACTU) in the early 1979. He went into exile in Britain and held various positions in the ANC including being the Regional Secretary of ANC (UK & Ireland). In the ten years in exile he travelled the world mobilising the Anti-Apartheid Movement including addressing international bodies such as the ILO and the UN Human Rights Commission. In 1989 he became the Co-ordinator: Nelson Mandela International Reception Committee and returned to South Africa 1991. He spends most of his time today campaigning to ensure that the great promise of our democratic constitution is a lived reality that transforms the lives of all South Africans.