NATIONAL COMMISSIONER SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE
Profile of New National Police Commissioner Ms
Mangwashi Victoria “Riah” Phiyega
Riah Phiyega is the first woman to be appointed as the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service.
She was born in Polokwane and received her primary and secondary education at various schools in Limpopo.
She holds a BA degree in Social Work from the University of the North, a BA Hons degree in Social Sciences from Unisa, an MA degree in Social Sciences from the University of Johannesburg and a postgraduate diploma in Business Administration from the University of Wales in Cardiff. She also attended executive development programmes at the National University of Singapore and Wharton University in Pennsylvania in the USA.
Ms Phiyega was a Group Executive at Absa Bank Limited. While at Absa, she chaired the AllPay boards of Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. She was also a board member of Absa Actuaries, Chair of the Gotswelela Trust and Trustee of the Absa Foundation. She was also a Group Executive at Transnet, where she was a member of the Executive Committee and an attending member of the Transnet Board. She served on numerous Transnet subsidiaries.
Ms Phiyega was part of a team of senior executives who were responsible for the restructuring of the old Portnet into two major separate entities: Port Operations and Port Authority. Subsequent to the above restructuring, she became part of the Executive of the National Ports Authority of South Africa.
She served as Director for Development at the National Council for Child Welfare. She started her career in Child Welfare in Pretoria. She spent a few years at the Chamber of Mines as an employee well-being consultant.
Prior to joining the South African Police Service, she was appointed as Chairperson of the Presidential State-Owned Enterprise Review Committee. The Committee was tasked with the responsibility of reviewing State-Owned Entities and to make recommendations for their future repositioning.
Ms Phiyega was the Vice Chairperson for the Independent Commission for Remuneration of Public Office Bearers.
She chaired the Road Traffic Management Corporation Investigation Task Team which looked into maladministration, corruption and poor corporate governance. The task team made major intervention and restructuring recommendations to the Minister of Transport, assisting to improve the corporation.
Ms Phiyega has served in other significant national structures, which included serving as a board member of the 2010 Bid Committee that managed the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup by South Africa, Commissioner for the Commission of the Road Accident Fund Commission led by Judge Satchwell, who made recommendations about reasonable, equitable and accessible systems of payment by the Road Accident Fund.
She was also Chairperson of the National Welfare Forum that actively participated in the Social Welfare Restructuring Committee responsible for the development of the post-apartheid Welfare White Paper. She also sat on the Council for Medical Aid Schemes.
Ms Phiyega was a member of two university councils, namely Medunsa and the University of Limpopo. She served on Council Committees of the Technikon Witwatersrand and the Tshwane University of Technology. She offered her services to several NGO boards, notable among which are the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Southern Africa Trust.
Apart from the above, Ms Phiyega is involved in women empowerment. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum of South Africa (IWFSA), served as a coach and mentor linked to mentoring programmes of various organisations including, among other things, the Association for Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP), the International Women’s Forum: SA (IWFSA), the African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) and The Graca Machel Scholarship. She is also actively involved in the church.
Ms Phiyega has received recognition awards for her leadership in business, community development and women initiatives. She is driven by what she calls the ISE philosophy, ie Integrity, Service to others before self and Excellence. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.
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