Project Isizwe has expanded its Board of Directors to include a former Director General of National Treasury, a former Chairman of ICASA and a former CEO of the SABS.
The non-profit organization, which is spearheading the delivery of Free WiFi for low income communities in South Africa, has expanded its Board of Directors to six, with Estian Calitz, Nape Maepe and Martin Kuscus joining from November 2015.
In addtion to adding new members to the Project Isizwe board Alan Knott-Craig will also be stepping down as CEO of the not-for-profit WiFi company at the end of the year in order to focus other business intrests. Current Isizwe chief operating officer Zahir Khan will take over from Knott-Craig on 1 January 2016.
The new additions join Chairman John Volmink, Sibs Moodley-Moore and Zahir Khan on the Board and bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise in various fields, and will no doubt be invaluable additions as Project Isizwe expands its national and international footprint.
“Project Isizwe is out of the start-up phase and with the new additions to the board and leadership change, we are geared to scale the organisation to meet its core objectives“, says Khan, member of the board and Chief Operating Officer of Project Isizwe.
Professor Estian Calitz currently serves as is the Executive Director of Finance and Professor of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, the same University from which he obtained his Masters and PHD.
In 1989, Calitz became the Deputy Director-General at the South African Department of Finance and in 1993 he became the Director-General. He left the government in 1996 to take up the post of Professor of Economics at the University of South Africa.
Calitz returned to the University of Stellenbosch in 2001 as the Dean of the faculty at the Economics and Management Sciences.
Martin Kuscus was the MEC for Finance in the North West Provincial Government from 1994 until 2004. Prior to that, he spent 17 years in health care services.
In June 2004 he became CEO of the South African Bureau of Standards, a position he held until July 2009.
He was the Chairperson of the first Board of Trustees for the Government Employee Pension Fund overseeing a portfolio worth R850 billion (the seventh biggest pension fund in the world), as well served on the PRI Board, the UN Global Compact initiative on Responsible Investment where he gained international best practice experience on corporate governance and optimization of the investment value chain.
He also served as Chairperson of the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund and President of both the Finance and Fiscal Commission and the Afrikaanse Handels Instituut. He was also elected for a two year term on to the Council for International Standards Organization (ISO).
Nape Maepa was the Founding Chairman of the telecommunications Regulator of South Africa. He has also managed a USTDA-funded project for a complete electromagnetic frequency band plan for South Africa as well as spearheading the creation of a new numbering plan. He advised the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA)countries on ICT regulatory reform and setting up the ARICEA group of national ICT regulators for the COMESA countries.
Project Isizwe has made great strides in bridging the digital divide since 2013, with its flagship project Tshwane Free WiFi, together with the City of Tshwane, connecting over 900 000 Users across 711 Free Internet Zones.
There are also live projects, both Municipality and privately sponsored, in the Western Cape, rural Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Nata and Limpopo, with projects in the pipeline in many other parts of South Africa.
Now, with Calitz, Kuscus and Maepe’s guidance, Project Isizwe aims to create a national footprint of Free WiFi in public spaces and connect millions of users for the purposes of Education, Economic Development and Social Inclusion.