The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) has a permanent Director General after years of its most senior post being occupied by people “acting” in the position.
The announcement of a full-time Director General rated just a sentence at the end of a statement informing South Africans of decisions taken at the April meeting of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet. As one of two appointments, it read: “Ms Irene Nomalungelo Mpolweni as DG at the Department of Military Veterans”.
Mpolweni today (Monday, 7 June) assumed duties at the Hatfield, Pretoria, DMV headquarters taking over from retired three-star general Derrick Mgwebi. He was acting director general replacing Max Ozinsky, also an acting appointment.
Mpolweni’s background and qualifications are broadly managerial with stints at a provincial department of transport, chief of staff to four ministers (one of which was the then Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism where responsibilities include “agentisation of the then SA Weather Bureau, Kirstenbosch and Sea Fisheries” according to an abbreviated CV). Her financial and human resource management experience includes the Department of Transport. She headed the North West Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation between 2007 and 2010.
She is no stranger to the uniforms and management style of soldiers having been part of projects with defence involvement.
These were, according to the CV, “rebuilding” Mthatha airport and “repositioning” Bhisho airport as a logistic hub. An achievement she rates is her involvement with a three year Bailey bridge programme with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DWPI) and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
Mpolweni hosted four civil aviation air shows and career expos in partnership with the SA Air Force (SAAF) at Mafikeng and Mthatha airports.