Remembering Dr Zola Skweyiya

It was with sadness that we heard of the passing of Dr Zola Skweyiya, who served in a number of key roles for the South African government, including as Minister of Social Development from 1999 to 2009 and as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2009 - 2014.

Dr Skweyiya was a great friend to this Department, and in particular to The Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASASP) which was set up under the direction of Professor Michael Noble in the early 2000s.

CASASP aimed to assist in the eradication of poverty and building of citizenship in South Africa through high quality evidence-based social policy research and training with an international comparative dimension. This included the development of indices of multiple deprivation for South Africa, introduction of the 'socially perceived necessities' approach to defining and measuring poverty, and the development of training programmes for government officials.

From 2011 - 2015 the annual Zola Skweyiya Lecture series was hosted by CASASP. You can read the inaugural lecture here, which was given by Dr Skweyiya himself. He said on that occasion: "To you.... researchers and social policy experts, and members of the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, we say in South Africa ‘ningadinwa nangomso’. May you find even greater strength and determination to do more and contribute further!”

You can read a tribute to Dr Skweyiya here, written by Vusi Mandosela, an Associate Member of our Department.