Thami Mathe

Date &  Place of birth     : 21 May 1969 at Benedictine Hospital in Nongoma

Study History                  : Mathe started his  lower primary education at Hlabisa Lower Primary School in 1976 where he got promoted from Sub B to Standard One in one year when he displayed exceptional performance. In 1979, he went on to finish his higher primary education at Esibanini Higher Primary School, also situated in Hlabisa. In 1982 he started his high school education at Mlokothwa High School in Nongoma where he finished his matriculation with Exemption. Because of financial constraints at home he could not go straight to University and pursue his first dream of being a Medical doctor, instead he went to Esikhawini College of Education where he completed the Secondary Teachers Diploma (STD) majoring in Mathematics and Physical Science. Straight after completing the diploma in 1989, in 1990 Thami enrolled at the University of Zululand in the Science Faculty for a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and completed his degree in 1992 majoring in Biochemistry and Chemistry.

After a short stint as a teacher at Dlangezwa High School (One and half years to be precise – 1993 to June 1994) Mathe was then  appointed as a Laboratory Technician in the Chemistry Department at the University of Zululand. He did not stay long in the Chemistry Department as he got appointed as a Junior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education in September 1994. This was the time when the Faculty of Education had just introduced the Bachelor of Paedagogics (B.Paed) in Primary Science degree. Mathe served the Faculty of Education from 1994 to 2005. During that period he had furthered his studies with the University of Natal (now UKZN) completing a Bachelor of Education Honors in Science Education. Towards the end of 2005 he was  appointed as one of the Science Coordinators in the newly established Unit called the Centre for Education and Experiential Learning (CEEL) which was meant to be an interface between the Science Faculty and industries for placement of Science students undergoing experiential learning or work integrated learning. For the years  spent at the University of Zululand Thami will be remembered for initiating and coordinating the UZ Winter Schools which grew in leaps and bounds over a period of ten years even drawing students from the former middle C schools as far as from Port Shepstone in the South and Dundee in Midlands.

In April 2008 he  left the University  to join the Department of Science and Technology (DST) as a Deputy Director in the Unit called High-End Skills under the Human Capital Development Programme. In the DST, Thami was responsible for what was called the Emerging Researchers Programmes which specifically focused on developing emerging researchers with South Africa’s System of Innovation (NSI). Through this programme he served all Universities under the Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship Programmes (IPDFP)and Science Councils and National Research Facilities in the Postdoctoral development Programme (PDP).

Current Employer: Towards the end of 2014, Mathe was appointed as one of the Executives of the South African Sugar Association (SASA) with a responsibility of heading SASA’s own training Centre called Shukela Training Centre (STC). The Centre is responsible for producing artisans in various engineering trades and for training farmers and farm workers within the South African sugar industry and neighbouring states like Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique and Nigeria.