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About Us


Legal Status

MISTRA was established as a Section 21 (non-profit) company in February 2010 in terms of the South African Companies Act. In July 2010 the Institute adopted a two-part Memorandum of Incorporation, the first part in compliance with the then existing Companies Act; and the second part came into force with the enactment of the new Companies Act in 2011.

In November 2010 the Institute was granted Public Benefit Organisation status by the South African Revenue Service, exempting it from income tax and allowing the issuance of tax-deductible receipts to donors. The Institute has also registered as a Non-Profit Organisation, in keeping with the new Companies Act:



A Council of Advisors  made up of respected South Africans acts as a reference group on the broad direction of the Institute’s work – contributing to the strategic content of its endeavours and enhancing its profile.

Council of Advisors:
  • Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi (Chairperson)
  • Jenny Cargill
  • Reuel Khoza
  • Antjie Krog
  • Barbara Masekela
  • Abdul Minty
  • Luli Callinicos
  • Adrian Enthoven
  • Oyama Mabandla

Professor Jakes Gerwel, the vice-Chairperson of the Council passed on in November 2012.

Board of Governors

A Board of Governors made up of South Africans with expertise and experience in various areas relevant to the Institute’s work has the mandate to exercise oversight on matters of governance. The full Board held its first formal meeting on 4th August 2010. Until the appointment of the full Board of Governors, the Institute was governed by an Interim Board consisting of Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Joel Netshitenzhe, Fébé Potgieter-Gqubule and Tshilidzi Ratshitanga.

Board of Governors:
  • Prof SibusisoVil-Nkomo (Chairperson) 
  • Joel Netshitenzhe (Executive Director) 
  • Barry Gilder (ex-officio member)
  • Tanya Abrahamse 
  • Patricia Hanekom 
  • Jean-Marie Jullienne 
  • Brigitte Mabandla
  • Mosibudi Mangena  
  • Kgabele Solomon Mapaila 
  • Tshilidzi Ratshitanga 
  • Sibusiso Sibisi 
  • Peter Vundla 
  • Sonja de Bruyn Sebotsa
  • Zamandlovu Ndlovu
  • Malose Kekana
  • Febe Potgieter-Gqubule

Operational Structure

A Management Committee consisting of a core Research Function (Faculties) that is supported by an Operations Directorate.



The core research work of the Institute is conducted through three Faculties:

Political Economy:

This faculty deals with socio-economic issues and their intersection with the social structure of South African society and politics.

Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement (KESA):

This faculty deals with the logics of natural sciences and their relevance for social development, including such issues as discovery, invention and innovation, incubation, adaptation, appropriation and quantitative analysis.


This faculty interrogates history, arts and culture and broad issues such as ideology and religion – in relation to societal development. 

The above faculties operate in a trans-disciplinary manner; and cross-cutting undertakings including Prospective and Longitudinal studies are integrated with these.

Management Team:

Joel Netshitenzhe (Executive Director), Barry Gilder (Director Operations), Prof Susan Booysen (Director Research), Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya (Director Project Management), Gloria Britain (Company Secretary), Lorraine Pillay (Financial Manager).


Barry Gilder (Director Operations), Gloria Britain (Company Secretary), Lorraine Pillay (Financial Manager), Thabang Moerane (Administrator), Magati Nindi (Resource Mobilisation Officer), Siphokazi Sigenu (Communications Officer), Terry Shakinovsky (Publications Coordinator), Noma Moyo (IT Manager),  Lindiwe Malaza (Receptionist), Rose Maleke Ngwato (Office Assistant).

Content Team and Members of Faculty:

Prof Susan Booysen (Director Research), Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya (Director Project Management), Dzunisani Mathonsi (Project Officer), Towela Ng'ambi (Consultancy Officer)
 Dan Motaung (Senior Researcher: Humanity), Dr. Beth Vale, (Researcher: Humanity), Themba Moleketi (Junior Researcher: Humanity), Salimah Valiani (Senior Researcher: Political Economy), Khwezilomso Mabasa (Researcher: Political Economy), Wandile Ngcaweni (Junior Researcher, Political Economy), Zamanzima Mazibuko ( Senior Researcher: Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement), Duduetsang Mokoele (Researcher: Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement), Anelile Gibixego (Assistant Researcher: Knowledge Economy and Scientific Advancement), Nqobile Mangena (Intern: Research), Njabulo Zwane  (Intern: Research).