South Africa: Environment, Forestry and Fisheries On Appointment of CEO of South African Weather Service

press release

Cabinet has concurred with the recommendation by the SAWS Board to appoint Mr Moegamat Ishaam Abader as CEO of the South African Weather Service.

Mr Abader's appointment was confirmed by the Cabinet during a virtual meeting on 24 February 2021.

Both the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy, and Deputy Minister, Ms Makhotso Sotyu, have welcomed Cabinet's concurrence of Mr Abader's appointment, saying it comes at a time when climate change is playing an increasingly important role in the development of the country, and the Green Economy.

The Weather Service has, therefore, come to play a more important role.

SAWS, an entity of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, has implemented a new warning service, which means that warnings are now issued according to the possible impacts expected. It is moving away from only predicting the weather to also communicating what the weather will do.

"The appointment of Mr. Abader to lead SAWS is an important step in government's arsenal of guiding the country in the design of climate-friendly infrastructure as well as urban and rural development to ensure that changing weather patterns, linked to climate change, do not contribute to the devastating loss of life and property," said Minister Creecy.

Mr Abader brings with him a wealth of experience in public administration, policy development and resource management and served as acting Director-General of the Department for most of 2020.

An admitted attorney who also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration, Mr. Abader served as the Deputy Director-General of Regulatory Compliance and Sector Monitoring in the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. Besides being the head of the Green Scorpions, he has completed a number of certificate courses, including the Advanced International Training Programme in Public Service Management in Sweden, litigation and Financial Management.

Mr Abader is highly respected in his field. Since joining the public service as a State Attorney in 1997, he has also served in provincial sphere of government. At the Department, he has served in various capacities, including as the head of Legal Services, Deputy Director-General Corporate Affairs and Deputy Director-General Environmental Quality and Protection. In his various designations, he has represented the Department at various international negotiations and fora, including sitting on a Board affiliated with Interpol. He is also the liaison between that Board and the Wildlife Crime Working Group under Interpol. He has sat on numerous boards, including the Council of GeoScience, the South African Weather Services and the National Nuclear Regulator.

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