The Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Mr Senzo Mchunu, has appointed Ms Lakela Kaunda as the new Executive Director of the CPSI.
Ms Kaunda is a seasoned executive with 30 years of experience in government and the private sector, more than 20 years of which have been held in senior and executive management positions. She possesses extensive skills in political, strategic and general management, governance and administration as well as marketing and communications.
Ms Kaunda has served as Chief Operations officer and Deputy Secretary of Cabinet in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, amassing a great wealth of experience as accounting officer of the highest office in the land, where she was also responsible for strategy, operations and organisational performance for the offices of the President and Deputy President of the Republic. In the Presidency she has also served as Deputy Director-General and head of the Private Office of the President and head of communications and spokesperson to the Deputy President of the Republic.
Ms Kaunda gained invaluable experience in the local government and traditional affairs sector, having served as Chief Operations Officer in the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs for more than a year.
She also possesses corporate governance experience at a high level, having served as a non-executive director on the Boards of Rand Water and Ubank.
In previous years she has served as head of communications and special communications advisor for the Department of Social Development, as director of communications for the Department of Communications and public relations officer for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Tourism in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ms Kaunda is a former editor of the Evening Post newspaper in Port Elizabeth and cut her teeth as a journalist on the Natal Witness in Pietermaritzburg. A trailblazer, she was the first woman to edit a daily newspaper in South Africa and was also the first woman to chair the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF).
Ms Kaunda holds a Masters (M Phil) in SA Politics and Political Economy from the University of Port Elizabeth, a BA Honours in Politics from UNISA, Bachelor of Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in World Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.