Dr Barney Pityana will start as the new Chairperson of the NLC from 1 August 2022, following his appointment by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition in terms of the National Lotteries Act.
The appointment follows a parliamentary process that commenced late in 2020, with a number of candidates shortlisted and interviewed by the parliamentary Portfolio Committee. Dr Pityana was one of three names originally submitted by the Minister to Parliament for consideration, the other two nominees being Advocate Thuli Madonsela and Rev Frank Chikane. This followed a public nomination process that identified 41 possible candidates.
Following the adoption of the report of the Portfolio Committee by the National Assembly, Parliament made recommendations to the Minister on the appointment of a Chairperson, with 4 names proposed, which included Dr Pityana.
Dr Pityana is is a renowned academic and theologian, having served as the Principal and Vice Chancellor of UNISA for nearly a decade, and previously as the Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission during the first years of the post-apartheid era.
He has experience of the operation of the lottery, having served as Independent Chairperson of the first lottery operator, Uthingo. He is currently the Chairperson of the Panel on Integrated Transformation at the University of Free State, and the Chairperson of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at Wits. Dr Pityana has developed specialised skills and experience in Leadership and Governance through his service at University Councils at Venda and Wits, and his service as Deputy President of the Academy of Science (ASSAf) as well as appointments as an independent assessor in troubled institutions of higher learning since his retirement as a Vice Chancellor in higher education institutions.
He holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in Labour Law from UNISA and a PhD in Religious Studies from UCT, he is a member of the Academy of Science (ASSAf). He is also an ordained priest of the Anglican Church and an admitted attorney of the High Court.
Prof Barney Pityana has a lengthy record of involvement in anti-apartheid struggles, serving as President of the SA Students Organisation (SASO). He is widely published in human rights law, theology and in public ethics.