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Change the world

29/06/2023

Siqhamo Ntola, 34, senior lecturer in environmental and international law at the University of South Africa (Unisa), was named in the Environment category of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2023.   

He holds an LLB and LLM in Public Law from Mandela University and is studying for his MPhil, specialising in sustainable mineral resource development at the University of Cape Town and his LLD at the University of Pretoria.

Siqhamo’s research focuses on the international law of the sea and the relationship African states have with this branch of law.

He also participated in the ad-hoc open-ended working group to prepare for the intergovernmental negotiating committee to end plastic pollution as a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s plastic pollution task team.

Siqhamo is the co-founder of the African Ocean Governance Institute, a non-profit company aimed at developing and disseminating expert insights on law and policy matters pertaining to Africa’s maritime domain. His professional career is geared towards advancing Africa’s sustainable development.

Previously, as the water and environment portfolio manager for the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), Siqhamo exposed over-expenditure and under-delivery by the department of water and sanitation on its bucket eradication programme.

He also successfully advocated for the prosecution of directors of Aurora Empowerment Systems for environmental damage from acid mine water in their Grootvlei gold mine. And assisted with oral and written submissions for the South African Human Rights Commissions’ inquiry into the sewage problem in the Vaal River.

“I know how I would like South Africa to feel like, which is a country rooted in its values and unyielding in its disposition concerning them. I think among the symptoms of the latter will be higher levels of accountability for leaders in the public and private spheres of society, which will stem from higher leadership thresholds imposed by the populace”, Siqhamo says. 

“Read. Do so broadly and greedily. I was about five years old when my mother passed her matric. As has been the case for many girls in our country, she had to postpone her schooling to attend to my immediate needs. The lesson for me has been two-fold. First, when circumstances are challenging, rather defer than quit. Second, finish what you start and don’t worry about how long it takes”, he says.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za