Ms Rooksana Omar became the CEO of Iziko Museums in November 2010. Under her leadership Iziko Museums has been renamed Iziko Museums of South Africa, marking a turning point affirming Iziko’s national status and acknowledging the fact that our museums – like the anthem and the flag – are an integral part of who we are as a nation.
While serving as CEO, difficult issues like the repatriation of human remains have been readdressed; the institution has consolidated its branding and made extensive efforts to communicate with different audiences; the organisation has re-evaluated its current offering at the 11 Iziko museums, a plan for the thematic redevelopment is in place and outreach education programmes to marginalised communities have been intensified.
Iziko has also significantly increased its research and partnership programmes thus paving the way for dynamic encounters through exhibitions.
Rooksana has endeavoured to break down barriers between the museum and the community by making the museum more inviting, open and accessible, and by inspiring critical thinking. Since her appointment, she has sought to develop the foundation for critical exchanges and working for social inclusion, knowledge creation and community participation. Her focus has been on making Iziko less of a monologue and more of a dialogue, emphasising the fact that our museums exist for the benefit of all.
Before joining Iziko Museums of South Africa, Rooksana served the Luthuli Museum in Groutville, where she laid the foundation for its strategic direction, policy and good governance and focused her team to create a platform for vibrant research, educational activities, exhibitions programmes and collections policies. She was responsible for forging partnerships that saw persons like Ngugiwa Thiongo, Gcina Mhlope, etc., interacting with learners and students from this urban area. Prior to this, Rooksana worked at the eThekwini Municipality where she gave flesh to the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) from a heritage perspective.
Amongst other things, one of her most remarkable contributions was to be instrumental in building the “Wall of Hope” for people who have passed away of AIDS; and the renaming of the Central Park to Gugu Dlamini Park, after the woman who publicly disclosed her HIV status and was stoned to death in KwaMashu as a result.
Rooksana continues to play an important role in shaping heritage in South Africa and internationally through her involvement in numerous bodies, such as the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM).
Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Rooksana Omar
Tel: +27 (021) 481 3832
Contact: Annelize Kotze
Executive Director Core Functions, Bongani Ndhlovu, joined Iziko Museums of South Africa in 2011. He has been extensively involved in heritage and museums for the past 20 years. He served museums in various capacities: as a researcher for KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Museums Service, Chief Curator and then Manager for Ncome Museum, Deputy Manager for the then Transvaal Museum (now Ditsong National Museum of Natural History) and Director for Msunduzi/Voortrekker and Ncome Museums.
He also served in various heritage and tourism bodies in South Africa, including Tourism Dundee, Vryheid Tourism, Museum Park, SAMA-KZN, ICOM-SA and South African Museums Association. He is a member of the International Council of Museums and served as the Vice-President for International Committee for Museums of Archaeology and History (ICMAH).
In addition to the above, he served on various committees including Department of Arts and Culture’s national bursary Selection Committee for scare skills in heritage. Bongani has various qualifications in history, arts and human resources management and is presently finalising his Ph.D. in History at the University of the Western Cape.
Executive Director: Core Functions
Mr. Bongani Ndhlovu
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3944
Contact: Olga Jeffries
Executive Director: Operations
Mrs. Denise Crous
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3944
Contact: Olga Jeffries
Ronell Pedro was appointed as CFO at Iziko Museums of South Africa in September 2015, after having been employed as Financial Manager since January 2009. Her appointment is testimony to Iziko’s commitment to staff advancement and development and has empowered her to contribute fully to the achievement of its objectives in the context of the strategic plan.
Ronell is a graduate of the University of the Western Cape, and shares its “commitment to access, equity and practical engagement in helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation”. She is particularly proud of her Alma Mater’s leading role in the emergence of the new democratic order.
Professionally, before joining Iziko, Ronell occupied a number of management accounting positions in the private sector and has gained 30 years’ solid experience in accounting and financial management. She is well versed in financial management systems and has been part of the changing practices and standards within both the private and public sectors.
Her early training in a private accounting practice culminated in her becoming a partner in the practice during the mid-90’s, which evidenced the confidence she had gained from her professional peers and clients. In this position, she not only managed and monitored financial systems and budgets, provided business financial advice to clients but also developed the communication and leadership skills required to work with people at all levels. Her departure from private practice led her into a number of management accounting positions, which deepened her appreciation for the wider business context of accounting and served to increase her technical, leadership and interpersonal skills set.
Her work as facilitator for IPFA (the Institute for Public Finance) assisted in translating her experience and insight into clear advice and practical services and also allowed her to transition from private sector to public sector accounting and financial management.
The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) has been a key element in a set of reforms to the management of government finances in the country. Implementing the Act represents a major challenge for the public sector and to successfully achieve the objectives of the Act, the CFO‘s role to ensuring good management and accountability, is vital.
As the public sector and government institutions continue to reform and evolve to become more nimble and responsive to stakeholder demands, Ronell recognises that the role of the CFO can no longer remain focused on accounting alone. CFO’s need to emerge from the reactive mode in which they often find themselves due to compliance requirements arising from the regulatory framework within which they operate. There is a challenge to leverage technology tools to simplify processes and cut costs, raise efficiency levels and become more customer focused despite budget constraints.
Ronell is confident that the expertise and experience she brings to the CFO role, together with the awareness that finance leaders need to work hand-in-hand with policy and program leaders as strategic partners, will lead to improved performance by Iziko and contribute to the success of the organisation in achieving its strategic objectives as well as its vision of being an African Museum of excellence.
Mrs. Ronel Pedro
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3825
Contact: Sophia Da Rocha
In November 1997 Rocco Human joined the SA Cultural History Museum, one of the museums that merged in terms of the Cultural Institutions Act to form the Southern Flagship Institution (SFI), now known as Iziko Museums of South Africa. As Assistant Director Administration Rocco was responsible for managing all functions related to finance and staff. Rocco was appointed as Chief Financial Officer of the SFI in 2001 and was instrumental in amalgamating the accounting and payroll systems of the five major museums that merged.
A further notable achievement was that Rocco had developed a new accounting system and structures on ACCPAC as well as the fixed asset system, both of which are still being used.
Rocco treasured the period in 1989-1993 when he was employed at the QwaQwa Government as he had the opportunity to work amongst the Sotho people, which enriched his perspective on culture.
Rocco has always had an interest in developing and implementing innovative strategies and methods to improve the efficiency of the Financial Administration and Human Resources functions throughout his career. This attribute was acknowledged when the Department Arts and Culture requested that Rocco visit the newly built Nelson Mandela Museum in Umtata to give guidance in terms of implementation of a new accounting and budgeting system.
Rocco majored in State Accounts and Finance and obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration in 2008. He ventured into the private sector in 2008 to apply his business knowledge when he accepted the position of Corporate Manager in the sectional title environment. Rocco qualified as a Managing Agent and completed his sectional title certification at the University of Cape Town. While employed at Helderberg Village Master Homeowners Association he played a major role in the development and implementation of tax and VAT initiatives which lead to saving the company millions of Rands.
While Rocco enjoyed the five years in the corporate world, he had loved working in the heritage sector so he rejoined Iziko Human Resources Department on 1 November 2013. Rocco was responsible for Remuneration and Benefits, then applied for the Human Resources Manager post and was successful. He then applied for the Director Human Resources post and was appointed on 1 May 2015. Rocco has a particular passion for developing staff, building strong teams that can deliver quality work by a deadline and providing internal and external customers with the services that they need. Rocco has developed a strategy to improve the Climate and Culture and will be implementing the approved strategy within the next two years.
Director: Human Resources
Mr Rocco Human
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3984
Contact: Lungi Mvimbi
Susan Glanville-Zini joined Iziko Museums of South Africa in late 2007, as head of Institutional Advancement.
An interest in innovative strategies for audience development, increased access, income generation and fundraising are central both to Susan’s work at Iziko and throughout her career prior to this.
She holds a B.A. FA (Hons) from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1987), a Diploma in Arts Marketing from IMM Graduate School of Marketing, Johannesburg (2000) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Advancement from Rhodes Business School, Cape Town (2013).
In her capacity as head of Institutional Advancement she is tasked to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation through fundraising and resource mobilisation, integrated marketing, communication and public relations, and strategizing on all matters relating to institutional development within the museum.
During her tenure she has contributed to:
- repositioning the Iziko brand;
- delivery of an innovative marketing and communication strategy;
- the upgrade of the Iziko website;
- activation of e-communication and social media;
- improved revenue generation, donor income and relationship management;
- and managed the upgrade of foyers and signage at key Iziko museums.
Most recently, she has driven a major capital fundraising campaign to secure the substantial funding required to implement a digital upgrade of Iziko’s Planetarium as fulldome multipurpose facility.
Before entering the Heritage Sector and joining Iziko, Susan utilised her arts background and combination of creative, entrepreneurial and project management skills, in a number of successful endeavours.
Notable achievements include founding ‘the project room’ in 1996, a consultancy geared to promote contemporary African art and culture. Although primarily focused on visual art, much of the work conducted under the Project Room banner was multi-disciplinary - with projects as diverse as: Centre a one night event in the Carlton parking lot attracting over 1000 visitors and profiled on CNN; the documentary series >seeing ourselves< broadcasted on local and international television channels; and a three-week programme of performances and events for national government presenting over 90 performers from Africa.
Susan also worked in a senior capacity on both the 1995 and 1997 Johannesburg Biennales - an event that even decades later, is considered to be seminal to the development and recognition of African contemporary art practice.
In 2003, she founded the Section 21 Company, the Cape Africa Platform (CAPE) and took on the ambitious task as CEO of this organization of building an African Biennale in Cape Town. Sponsored by the National Department of Art and Culture and other partners - CAPE's key project was to challenge biennale models and establish dialogue on the continent- as manifested in the Sessions E’kapa conference of 2005. CAPE was an important cultural catalyst and it is unfortunate the project foundered in 2008/9, after her resignation in late 2006.
Currently her primary professional focus is on adapting the Advancement Model to the needs of the South African heritage sector. Susan is uniquely qualified to pioneer advancement practice and models for sustainable public museums and other strategies that are catalysts for transformation and development of our museums.
Director: Institutional Advancement
Ms. Susan Glanville-Zini
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3896
Contact: Wendy Jones
Dr Wayne Alexander joined Iziko as the Director of the Education and Public Programmes Department (EPP), in August 2009. Dr. Alexander has more than twenty (20) years experience in the Education sector and has been actively involved in curriculum development processes, and serves on various boards. He has taught at Primary, High School and Tertiary level.
The Education and Public Programmes Department, of Iziko Museums offers a range of learning experiences for everyone. The School programmes include lessons by our Art Collections, Social History and Natural History departments, as well as the Planetarium.
Public programmes include lectures, workshops, commemorative programmes, winter school and more.
The Iziko Mobile Museum is an educational outreach project designed to take educational museum resources to rural and urban communities that are unable to visit Iziko Museums.
Director: Education and Public Programmes
Dr. Wayne Alexander
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3813
Contact: Kashiefa Millward
Director: Natural History Collections
Dr. Hamish Robertson
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3897
Contact: Norma Louw