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Sarushen Pillay

Coal and Environmental Technology Manager – Sasol



Pillay is one of the leaders in the environmental sector in South Africa. He obtained his PhD at the Pollution Research Group of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, one of the leading water research centres in the world. He also worked as a consultant for the group carrying out projects for the Water Research Commission and the private sector. He was part of the team that advised the eThekwini Municipality on the provision of free basic water in eThekwini. His work on this subject has been presented at many international conferences including the World Summit on Sustainable Development. He was a pioneer in the use of life cycle assessments in the water industry and was responsible for the development of an environmental performance indicator for water providers. Pillay was a co-author for the 2002 United Nations Environment Programme report on sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Pillay has worked as a consultant in the mining and metals sector before joining Sasol. In his role as the coal and environmental technology manager at Sasol, he is responsible for the development and introduction of new technologies in this area. He has led the teams responsible for the new water and waste handling systems for new gas-to-liquid, coal-to-liquid and chemicals projects and driven the focus on improving the environmental performance of the current asset base. With the changing environmental landscape, there is a need for greater innovation in this space and Sasol is positioning to respond to these challenges.


Prof. Jan Havenga

Logistics Professor: Stellenbosch University



Havenga is a leading researcher in the field of macrologistics that he co-established. Macro-logistics researches the cost and structure of national logistics systems and suggests solutions in order to reduce the total cost of ownership of economies. These solutions could relate to policy, infrastructure or systemic changes (i.e. broader than the freight transport industry). His work stretches from South Africa, to sub-Saharan countries and over the last year, India, Vietnam and China.

He is part of a niche global network of researchers that is sponsored by the World Bank and endeavors to improve the sustainability and affordability of freight logistics worldwide.


Theo Kleynhans

Denel Group Executive: Strategy



Kleynhans has more than 34 years’ experience at Denel in engineering and management, including extensive industrial experience within the state-owned enterprises. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronic) from Stellenbosch University and a Master of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa (2003)

In the 1990s, Kleynhans was the mission systems development manager on the Rooivalk combat support helicopter and the Cheetah front-line fighter aircraft.

After a year at the Department of Public Enterprises and two years at Denel Corporate with the 2005 turnaround strategy of Denel, Kleynhans joined the then Denel SAAB Aerostructures business as Chief Operating Officer.

He worked on the Airbus A400M industrialisation and manufacturing programme and was Chief Executive Officer at Denel Aerostructures before joining Denel Corporate as the Group Executive: Strategy in 2016.


Dr Rob Davies

Minister of Trade and Industry



Dr Rob Davies is serving his second term as the Minister of Trade and Industry, having been appointed to this portfolio in May 2014.

During his first term, which was from 2009 – 2014, he oversaw the development and implementation of three-year rolling industrial policy action plans, as well as steering South Africa's participation in important trade relations, including the Tripartite SADC-COMESA-EAC Free Trade Area, BRICS, Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, the US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and the World trade Organisation Bali package. Between 2005 and 2008, he was the Deputy Minister in the same Department. Davies has been an ANC MP since 1994 and has served as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committees of Finance and Trade and Industry, as well as the Constitutional Assembly Sub-Committee, which is responsible for drafting Charter 13 (Finance).

Before entering Parliament, Davies was a professor and co-director of the Centre of Southern African Studies at the University of the Western Cape and before that, he was a Professor Auxiliar at the Centro de Estudos Africanos at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique. An anti-apartheid activist for many years, Davies joined the ANC and the SACP while in exile in Mozambique. He is currently a member of the Central Committee of the SACP and of the National Executive Committee of the ANC. Academically, he holds an Honours degree in economics from Rhodes University, a Masters in international relations from the University of Southampton in the UK and a Doctorate in political studies from the University of Sussex, also in the UK.

Dr Philip Goyns

Senior Climate Change Advisor, Promethium Carbon



Philip Goyns is a Senior Climate Change Advisor at Promethium Carbon - an energy and environment consultancy. Before this he worked as a Modelling Specialist at the Department of Energy, where he was responsible for the development of the energy system optimisation model used for the Integrated Energy Plan. Prior to joining the Department of Energy, he was the Programme Manager for EnerKey, a German-South African research partnership aimed at integrated energy planning and implementation in the Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane Megacity Region.

Dr Goyns gained international experience while working in London as the Information Technology Project Manager at Global Coal Limited and the Data Manager at Company Watch Limited. He is a Wits University graduate, with a BSc and MSc in mechanical engineering and he also holds a DPhil in energy studies from the University of Johannesburg. He is a member of the Engineering Council of South Africa and the Institution for Mechanical Engineers (UK).

Johann du Toit

Director and CEO of SIMERA Technology Group



Du Toit has a BEng and an MScEng in mechanical engineering, structural design and simulation from Stellenbosch University. He is the co-founder of the SIMERA Group and is responsible for company growth.

Previously, he was Technical Director: CTS Trailers, where he was responsible for the set up and management of technical systems for the manufacturing of large flat deck and refrigerated semi-trailers, tippers and manufacturing processes. From 2001 to 2007, Du Toit was Optical Group Lead: SunSpace and Information Systems. He joined SunSpace as a structural design engineer, then specialised in structural vibration testing and went on to become group leader of the space optics team. In 1997, Du Toit founded his own structural analyses start-up (Fem-Aided Designs) where he consulted in the field of structural design and simulation ranging from transport, marine, space and medical fields until 2000.

He also lectured design for final year mechanical engineering students at Stellenbosch University on a part-time basis from 1999 to 2000.

Du Toit believes that by aptly managing, guiding and empowering a great team, one will be far prouder of the outcome than what your own limited contribution could have fashioned.


How the next industrial revolution will reshape South African manufacturing
Johann du Toit