National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)



Our Company Structure

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) is a broad stakeholder body that represents over 100 organisational members in 6 distinct sectors. The diagram shows the sectors (excluding government) and the approximate member proportion per sector.

The Government sector is represented by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). However, NSTF engages with all government departments responsible for policies that relate to aspects of science, engineering, technology and innovation.

Each member organisation is represented at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the NSTF, by official representatives appointed by the organisations themselves. The six sectors elect representatives to the Executive Committee, which meets about seven times a year. Members of the Executive Committee are not remunerated for their services.


The Executive Committee/Board has an oversight role and takes fiduciary responsibility for the non-profit company. The Executive Director serves on the Exco/Board, and directs all activities of the NSTF and secretariat/office. The Exco has sub-committees, including the Science Councils committee, and the proSET committee, chaired by members of the Exco.

At the senior management level, the NSTF has two people, the Executive Director and COO (who serves as Financial Manager as well).

At the deputy management level, NSTF has one staff member, the Human Relations & Financial Officer.

There are 5 other positions on the permanent staff:

  • Human Resource Manager and Financial Assistant
  • Digital Communications and Technical Officer
  • Youth Outreach Officer
  • Event and Data Administrator
  • STEMulator Research Assistant


Two other staff positions (incl Committees’ Secretary) are filled by 2 volunteers from the National Youth Service programme managed by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), a division of the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Yet another 2 staff positions (for Marketing and Communications) are filled by interns of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).


A transformed country where SET and innovation contribute to a high quality of life for all who live in South Africa, where the profile of SET professionals is representative of the population’s profile and where the education system is effective, particularly in terms of performance in SET subjects and promoting innovation.

Representative body of SET and innovation stakeholders

Discussion Forums

Media Releases
Full Proceedings

Recognise Excellence

Activities: Awards

Outputs: Award finalists and winners identified, rewarded and celebrated.

Youth Outreach

Brilliants and Share ’n Dare Programmes, Bursary Directory, Career Fields and STEMulator Outputs: Role modelling (professionals and students), bursary and career guidance, and inspiring the youth.

Share ‘n Dare Programme
Brilliants Programme              Science bursaries directory  STEMulator


Corporate Governance

The NSTF’s structure and procedures are governed by its Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).

There are four directors on the Board of Directors of the Non Profit Company.
The Directors and the other members of the Executive Committee, are the following:

Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele (NWU)

NSTF Chairperson

Ms Jansie Niehaus (NSTF)

NSTF Executive Director and Company Director

Mr Denis Hunt (Chair: NSTF Adjudication Panel)

NSTF Head Adjudicator and Company Director

Ms Mariana Purnell (eGrain)

Business Sector – Main representative

Ms Deidre Penfold (CAIA)

Business Sector – Alternate

Mr Sibusiso Mjwara (Umgeni Water)

Civil Society – Main representative

Prof Marissa Rollnick (SAARMSTE)

Civil Society Sector – Alternate

Dr Philemon Mjwara (DSI)

Government Sector – Main representative

Ms Gugulethu Zwane (DSI)

Government Sector – Alternate

Mr Sibongiseni Mzimande (DALRRD)

Additional Government member: Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development – Main representative

Mr Mathala Mokwele (DALRRD)

Additional Government member: Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development – alternate representative

Prof Lesley Cornish (Wits)

Higher Education Sector Representative

Prof Nnenesi Kgabi (NWU)

Higher Education Sector – Alternate

Dr Mlungisi Cele (NACI)

Additional Member: Government Sector – Main representative

Ms Nozipho Maome (NACI)

Additional Member: Government Sector – Alternate

Mr David (Dawie) Botha (SAAE)

representing engineers, main representative – Professional Bodies and Learned Societies (proSET) sector

Mr Johan Maartens (SAIMC)

representing engineers, alternate – Professional Bodies and Learned Societies (proSET) sector

Dr Babatyi Innocentia Malope-Kgokong (NHLS)

Science Councils and Statutory Bodies Sector – Main representative

Prof Norman Maiwashe (Agricultural Research Council)

Science Councils and Statutory Bodies Sector – Alternate

Dr Mpho Lekgoathi (NECSA)

State-Owned Enterprises Sector Main Representative and NSTF Vice-Chairperson

Ms Rebaone Mokate (NECSA)

State-Owned Enterprises Sector – Alternate

Prof Ali Dhansay

Director & Immediate Past Chairperson

Prof Brenda Wingfield (University of Pretoria)

NSTF Immediate Past Chairperson and Director of Company

Ms Wilna Eksteen (NSTF)

Chief Operations Officer

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