Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe announced as UCT chancellor

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Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe. (Supplied)
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe. (Supplied)

Philanthropist and businesswoman Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe has been elected as the new chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Moloi-Motsepe, who is married to mining magnate and billionaire Patrice Motsepe, is expected to occupy her new office on January 1, 2020.

UCT council chairperson Sipho Pityana said Moloi-Motsepe was elected by an electoral college consisting of UCT qualification holders, academic, professional, administrative support and service (PASS) staff and students.

She will be taking over from Graça Machel who was first elected in 1999. Machel's second term concludes at the end of 2019. 

The chancellor is elected for a 10-year term.

"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.

"The university is privileged to have Moloi-Motsepe serve as the chancellor of one of the leading institutions in the country and on the African continent," Pityana said.

Moloi-Motsepe is a businesswoman and philanthropist who started her career in medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

She worked at various public hospitals in South Africa as well as the Medical College of Virginia in the United States.

Together with her husband, she founded the Motsepe Foundation in 1999 and became the first couple from Africa to join The Giving Pledge in 2013.

READ: Winning Women: Revving Africa’s engine

"In addition to its development work in South Africa and across the African continent, the foundation has international partnerships with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Harvard Kennedy School, Milken Institute, and various other philanthropic organisations.

"Moloi-Motsepe established African Fashion International (AFI) in 2007. The AFI's mission is to aggregate the fragmented fashion and clothing industry on the African continent in order to make it commercially viable and sustainable," Pityana said.

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. She has authored a resource guide for women across South Africa called The Precious Little Black Book and produced the Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative South Africa.

Her professional associations include Harvard Kennedy School's women's leadership board and Centre for Public Leadership Council, the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council, and Cancer Association of South Africa (past president).

"On behalf of the university community, I would like to thank Machel for serving the university with remarkable distinction and great commitment for two 10-year terms, which spanned complex moments and incredible milestones. I congratulate Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe on her election as the next chancellor and wish her a productive and successful term," Pityana said.

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