During a virtual meeting of Cabinet on December 2, Nomfundo Tshabalala was appointed Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) director-general. Former director-general Nosipho Ngcaba had retired in June.
Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy and Deputy Minister Makhotso Sotyu both welcomed Cabinet’s approval, adding that the appointment comes as a ‘shot in the arm’ for the newly-created department.
“The DEFF is honoured to welcome Tshabalala to our ranks. She brings with her a wealth of experience in public administration, economic policy and resource management,” says Creecy.
According to the department, Tshabalala’s knowledge of economic development and public sector management will help the DEFF implement strategies and programmes in a constrained resource environment, and at a time when the country is implementing an economic recovery programme that has the so-called green economy as one of its six key sectors.
The DEFF also says Tshabalala has developed a strong reputation as a specialist in public finances, debt management and other methods that governments use to finance social and economic development. This has resulted in her working closely with peers in countries like Japan, Australia, and various East African countries to develop and exchange ideas on the management of public finances and government projects.
“The skills will assist the DEFF in turning around successive years of qualified audits. It will also assist in placing both the Marine Living Resources Act and the Kabelo Trust on a sound financial footing,” states the DEFF.
Tshabalala holds a BSc degree in economics and accounting and a MSc, focusing on development finance, as well as an MBL from Unisa. Her MBL focused on the leadership styles and corporate entrepreneurial behaviour in provincial government.
Tshabalala started her career in the Swaziland government’s Department of Finance where she focused on development finance and the implementation and monitoring of internationally funded projects.
In 2000, she joined the Gauteng provincial government working for the Gauteng Department of Finance and Economic Affairs as chief director. She was appointed head of the provincial Treasury in 2006.
Tshabalala’s leadership and professionalism have been recognised through several awards including the National Batho Pele Excellence Awards – she received a gold medal for Best Head of Provincial Department, and silver medals for Best Functioning Department and Ethical and Professional Provincial Department.
She has also been recognised through Premier Service Excellence Awards, including being awarded gold awards for Leadership and Integrity, and a silver award for Sustainable Performance and Product Excellence.