UCT announces new VC: Professor Mosa Moshabela

24 May 2024 | Norman Arendse SC

Dear members of the UCT community

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is delighted to formally announce that Professor Mosa Moshabela has accepted an offer to become the university’s 11th vice-chancellor. This concludes a thorough and consultative six-month recruitment and selection process. He will formally take up the UCT vice-chancellor position on 1 October 2024.

Professor Moshabela is currently the deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a role he has held since 2021. In this role he provides visionary and intellectual leadership across the areas of research, innovation, research ethics and integrity, postgraduate studies, strategic partnerships, research grants management, research contracts management, scholarly communications, information and data management, knowledge exchange, intellectual property management, technology transfer, entrepreneurship and third-stream income/commercialisation. He has previously served at one international and two other local universities.

His impressive CV gives a glimpse of what an outstanding leader he is:

An esteemed academic and clinician scientist, he is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He has a decorated career, with multiple awards. Among these, he was awarded the PHILA Annual Award in 2022 by the Public Health Association of South Africa for his contribution to Public Health in South Africa, and a Ministerial Special COVID-19 Award in 2020–2021 for COVID-19 Science Communication and Public Engagement.

Professor Moshabela is the Chairperson of the Governing Board at the National Research Foundation; and Health Commissioner to the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, as one of the seven multi-sector commissioners on the premier’s Provincial Planning Commission. He is former member of the board at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), and former chairperson of the Standing Committee on Health in the Academy of Science of South Africa.

A medical doctor by profession, his research is focused on the implementation science of health innovations. This is a multidisciplinary practice which seeks to improve the access, quality, equity and the impact of healthcare for especially resource-constrained sub-Saharan African countries.

Primarily, Professor Moshabela’s contribution to health research has been in the improvement of access and quality in healthcare to combat infectious diseases, particularly in relation to HIV and TB, and in the areas of health systems, services and policy research.

He has held a number of scientific grants for his research, mainly from the US National Institutes of Health, Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom (UK) and the National Research Foundation in South Africa. Professor Moshabela has also received funding from the SAMRC, the Wellcome Trust and the National Institute for Health and Care Research in the UK, International Development Research Centre of Canada, and more recently, the US Government, Swiss Government, German Government and the European Union.

Globally, he is a member of the international advisory board for the Lancet Healthy Longevity, Lancet commission on synergies between Health Promotion, Universal Healthcare Access and Global Health Security, and the commission of the US National Academies for Science, Engineering and Medicine on the Global Roadmap to Healthy Longevity.

Read Professor Moshabela’s abridged CV.

Throughout the recruitment and selection process, he demonstrated deep knowledge and an appreciation of the challenges the UCT vice-chancellor may encounter. He showed a sincere commitment to agile, transformative and values-based leadership. The selection committee believes that Professor Moshabela is the best candidate for such a time as this in UCT’s history, and that he will work with conviction and vision to ensure UCT’s sustainability into and beyond 2030.

Professor Moshabela will take over from Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy, who has been serving as vice-chancellor on an interim basis since March 2023. In the coming months, at an appropriate time, the university will thank Professor Reddy for his selfless leadership and invaluable contributions to UCT’s success. Professor Reddy has committed to working with Professor Moshabela over three months as part of handing over the vice-chancellor baton.

Finally, our sincere gratitude to you, the UCT community – staff, students, alumni, donors, international partners and collaborators – for your ongoing support and interest in UCT’s success. It is deeply valued.

We are excitedly looking forward to having Professor Moshabela joining UCT; and we have no doubt that he will be an excellent appointment to take the university a notch higher.

I am sure you will all join me in congratulating Professor Moshabela on this appointment.


Norman Arendse (SC)
Chair of UCT Council

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