Africa Leaders Magazine

Remembering – Honourable DUMA NKOSI: The Former Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade, Industry and Competition (SA)

The late Duma Nkosi lived a life of service to communities and the people of South Africa. He was born in Soweto and spent much of his life in Thokoza and the East Rand.

His period of public life spanned his time as a community activist, a trade unionist, political leader and senior civil servant.

He was a shop steward at Makro and later was elected President of the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) from 1989 at the unification congress of the trade union.

He was an ANC activist from 1979, Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in Thokoza from 1990 to 1996 and served as a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2001, chairing the Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy for a four-year period.

Subsequently, he served as the second executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality from 2001, helping to steer the municipality made up of a number of towns, into a single entity.

He led a number of public institutions, including as chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (Gauteng Chapter) and of the Electricity Distribution Industry Holdings Company (EDI).

In 2011 he joined the Economic Development Department (EDD) as a senior official working closely with the Ministry.

Over the following eight years, he was part of the EDD team that addressed ways to create jobs and support local communities through addressing challenges faced by investors and small businesses. He helped to unblock a number of key projects including the supply of water and energy security for businesses; and took up the challenges of entrepreneurs across the country from Cape Town, to Mpumalanga, KZN and Gauteng.

In 2019, he was elected again as a Member of Parliament.

His last official engagement as Chairperson was his attendance at the Portfolio Committee meeting on the Steel Industry Masterplan, held on 7 December 2021. It was a fitting farewell by this exceptional South African activist from the East Rand, the engineering heart of South Africa.

I remember Duma as a gentle soul, who loved people and had a calm dignified way to deal with challenges. He found a way of staying tenaciously on a matter until it was resolved, without straining his relationships with people.  His smile was as large as his heartEbrahim Patel (Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition) said.

Former Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina also described Duma Nkosi as “a cadre, a father to many, a catalyst of humility and astounding leadership.”

He was an avid runner and completed several Soweto and Two Oceans Marathons, more than 10 Comrades Marathons as well as one London Marathon.

His passing deprives his family of a husband and father and Parliament has lost a hardworking and committed public representative. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, Members of Parliament and the members of the community he served.

Africa will always treasure memories of him and his dedication to building a better South Africa. May his soul rest in peace.

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