Dr Pulane Molokwane, a PhD graduate from the University of Pretoria (UP), was appointed to the Eskom Interim Board by Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, on 23 June 2017. Eskom is the largest State Owned Company (SOC) in South Africa. Dr Molokwane obtained her Master's degree in Applied Radiation Physics with distinction (thesis) at the University of North West in 2004. She then enrolled for her PhD at the Environmental Engineering Group (EEG) at the University of Pretoria. Her research project at the EEG was completed in December 2009 and she graduated in September 2010.
Dr Molokwane was instrumental in obtaining funding from the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Project on Nuclear Waste Minimisation, which was the central theme of her doctoral studies, for UP. She was the first researcher globally to publish real results on the prospect of biological separation of Carbon-14 from a Carbon-12/Carbon-14 matrix using specially isolated autotrophic organisms in oxygen-stressed natural environments. The culminating achievement of her study was the publication of results on bioremediation of a toxic metal compound in the journal Water Research (2008, Vol. 42, No. 17, pages 4538-4548), which is one of the most highly rated journals in the water and environmental engineering sciences fields.
Dr Molokwane has maintained her association with the EEG at UP and remains an active researcher. She continues to publish in journals and presents papers on her research at local and international conferences. Dr Molokwane has to date authored up to 30 peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter.
Dr Molokwane has served on the Sedibeng Water Board, the third largest water board, since 2013, the Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency CMA, the first CMA to be established, since 2014, and SAFCOL, the third largest SOC, since 2015. She was appointed to the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Office of the President in 2015. Referring to the Eskom Interim Board, Minister Brown stated 'I believe the interim arrangements represent a new dawn at Eskom'. She described Dr Molokwane as '...a registered professional scientist who is a specialist in the environment and project management, nuclear fuel management, and water and waste management'.
Her colleagues at the EEC and the Department of Chemical Engineering wish her success in her new role as non-executive director of the Eskom Interim Board.