Dialogue Group

The NECT’s programme of national policy discussion is known as Education DialogueSA. At the centre of this is the Dialogue Group which meets three times a year to generate proposals for wider debate and advocacy.


Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg and member of the National Planning Commission

Prof Rensburg’s career is a mixture of outstanding academic achievement and immersion in complex transformational challenges. He served as Deputy Director-General in the Department of Education between 1995 and 2001, undertaking ground-breaking work in the creation of a new post-apartheid education system. This was followed by a spell as Chief Executive: Strategic Corporate Services at the South African Broadcasting Corporation before he joined the University of Johannesburg in 2007. He holds a DPhil degree in International Development Education from Stanford University (completed with distinction) and also achieved distinction in the Gordon Institute of Business Science Global Executive Development Programme.

Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Basic Education

Prior to his current appointment, Deputy Minister Surty served for a short period as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. He is an attorney by profession, with an LLM degree in Constitutional Litigation from the University of the Western Cape. He also holds a postgraduate certificate in higher education and previously completed a full term as Deputy Minister of Education (2004-2008). He was an African National Congress (ANC) negotiator in the process that created South Africa’s Bill of Rights and Chief Whip of the ANC in the National Council of Provinces between 1999 and 2004.

Members from the academic community

Brian O’Connell (University of Western Cape); Brahm Fleisch (University of Witwatersrand); Eric Atmore (ECD specialist); Graeme Bloch (Wits School of Public and Development Management)

Members from government and statutory bodies

Gugu Ndebele, Mathanzima Mweli, Paddy Padayachee, Palesa  Tyobeka, Temba Kojana, (all from Department of Basic Education); Khulekani Mathe (National Planning Commission); Nick Taylor (National Education Evaluation and Development Unit); Nombulelo Sesi Nxesi (Education, Training and Development Practices SETA); Onnica Dederen (Limpopo Department of Education); Thabo Mabogoane (Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, Presidency); Thomas Auf der Heyde (Department of Science and Technology)

Members from labour organisations

Ben Machipi (Professional Educators Union); Chris Klopper (Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie); Henry Hendricks (National Association of Professional Teachers of SA); Mugwena Maluleke (SA Democratic Teachers Union)

Members from independent sector schooling

Felicity Coughlan (Independent Institute of Education); Jane Hofmeyr (Independent Schools Association of SA); Janice Seland (Catholic Institute of Education); Mohamed Dockrat (Association of Muslim Schools); Sheva Messias (SA Board of Jewish Education)

Members from civil society organisations

Ann Bernstein (Centre for Development and Enterprise); Godwin Khosa (JET Education Services); Janet Love (Legal Resources Centre); Masennya Dikotla (Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy); Matakanye Matakanye (National Association of School Governing Bodies); Mothomang Diaho (TeachSA); Paul Colditz (Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools); Phatekile Holomisa (Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA);  Yolisa Dwane (Equal Education)

Members from trusts and foundations

Donné Nicol (Shanduka Foundation); Gail Campbell (Zenex Foundation); Kgotso Schoeman (Kagiso Trust); Mpho Letlape (Sasol Inzalo Foundation); Tracey Henry (Tshikululu Social

Members from youth organisations

Thembinkosi Josupu (SA Youth Council); Thlologelo Malatji (Congress of SA Students); Yershen Pillay (National Youth Commission)

© National Education Collaboration Trust