Minister Patel appoints TUT top scientist to SABS board

by Phaphama Tshisikhawe

24 November 2022

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel has appointed Dr Grace Mukondeleli Kanakana-Katumba, the Executive Dean at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment to the board of South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) for a period of five years.

Dr Grace Mukondeleli Kanakana-Katumba, the Executive Dean at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.

The appointment of the new eight board members will augment the progress made in bringing stability to the institution. Members are drawn from the private and public sectors and the new board has the opportunity and mandate to take SABS to be a leading global standards institution.

Speaking about her exciting new role, Dr Kanakana-Katumba indicated that she was jubilant to learn of her appointment to the board.

“I am totally humbled by government’s recognition and that of my fellow peers who can relate and value my contribution to the SABS,” she said elatedly.

She further elaborated that she would also like to acknowledge the University, faculty staff and students who have always been supportive and encouraging.

In her professional career, Dr Kanakana-Katumba is an industrial engineer with nine years industry experience and 13 years in academia. She is a Lean Six Sigma expert in process optimisation and quality improvement.  She has spearheaded research projects in process optimisation, Lean Six Sigma and Smart manufacturing, to say a few. 

Dr Kanakana-Katumba has published widely in accredited journals and international conferences, related to process optimisation, quality management system, engineering education and smart manufacturing. 

At the announcement, Minister Patel indicated that the SABS is important because it is a national standardisation authority, responsible for maintaining South Africa’s database of more than 6 500 national standards, as well as developing new standards and revising, amending or withdrawing existing standards as required. “It is vital to our industrialisation and job creation efforts. A well-functioning SABS means that a high-quality service is available to consumers and businesses,” he said.

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