Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the department's Director General Godfrey Selepe, who passed away earlier this week.
"Mr Selepe's sudden passing comes as a complete shock to me. His vast knowledge and contribution to the transport sector and government will be dearly missed," said Nzimande on Wednesday.
Selepe passed away on Monday morning after a long illness.
The Minister described Selepe as a veteran with vast experience in the public sector at both provincial and national levels.
Selepe, who was appointed as DG in March 2015, had vast experience in the transport industry spanning mostly across the aviation sector.
He was initially employed by the department in 1999 as Director for Air Transport and was later promoted to the position of Chief Director for Civil Aviation.
He had been responsible for negotiating bilateral air services agreements with other States; ensuring a smooth administration of the licensing and permit system; management of implementation of international instruments and protocols and coordinating research and development on pertinent aviation topics.
As a Chief Director, Selepe also oversaw aviation State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) like the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Air Traffic & Navigation Services (ATNS) and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). He also served as chairperson of the International Air Services Council.
Some of Selepe's other key career highlights include serving as Coordinator of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Aviation Task Team at the department from 2009 to 2010.
He also served as a member of the United Nations-International Civil
Aviation Organisation Air Transport Panel of Experts and as Chairperson of the International Air Services Council.