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Congratulations on well-deserved recognition to Prof Sitas for the Order of Mapungubwe

Submitted by user_admin on Sat, 08/14/2021 - 16:48

A hearty congratulations to Prof Ari Sitas on being awarded the National Order of Mapungubwe. The Order of Mapungubwe is granted by the South African Presidency - presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa, for achievements in the international area which have served South Africa's interests. Prof Sitas is being celebrated as a social scientist and a sociologist. He gains this accolade based on his various community involvement since the 1980’s – as he partook in various policy framework initiatives in KwaZulu-Natal such as trade unions research projects, unemployed youth projects, industrial health unit projects, to mention just a few. In 1982 Prof Sitas joined the University of Natal, currently known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Based at the University of Natal’s Industrial Organizational and Labour Studies (IOLS) Department, where he became a pivotal intellectual in the anti-apartheid struggle, actively working with trade unions and community organisations.  Following his PhD qualification in 1984 – with research focussing on the emergence of a social movement of trade union workers on the East Rand; he also occupied his time as a creative and political activist.  Thus, resulting in him being key to the explosion of cultural movements and organisations in the late apartheid period – and served as one of the most important leaders in negotiations leading to a transitional cultural dispensation. Together with his collaborators, Prof Sitas formed a key core to the anti-apartheid and transformation processes which subsequently shifted society from an authoritarian colonial enclave into a democratic and radical space. In May 2009, he joined the University of Cape Town as a Professor in the Department of Sociology where he is Head of Department Programme Convenor: Industrial Sociology and Global Studies. Most notably, Prof Sitas has carried out some impactful policy works, ranging from recently chairing the South African BRICS Think Tank, until recently on 31 December 2018.  He led the 10th BRICS Academic Forum held between 28-31 May 2018 as part of South Africa’s BRICS Presidency tenure; under the custodianship of the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS). He was also instrumental in formulating the Charter on the future of the Humanities and Social Sciences; as part of the two-panel member steering committee with Prof Sarah Mosoetsa - that ultimately gave birth to the NIHSS.  Not so long ago, he was involved in defining the social qualification framework as well as chairing the African Union committees that drafted the accelerated industrialisation path for Africa, among numerous other contributions.  Congratulations are indeed in order for Prof Sitas on his well-deserved recognition from South Africa’s highest office - The Order of Mapungubwe!