The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, is saddened by the untimely death of David Niddrie who was a Ministerial envoy responsible for advising Minister Nzimande on the National Skills Development policies and strategy.
Niddrie died at his home in Johannesburg on the evening of the 9th May 2023. He was 69 years old.
Minister Nzimande passes his heartfelt condolence to the Niddrie family, friends and comrades on the death of this gallant giant who selflessly and diligently served both the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Department of Science and Innovation.
“Nidree was advising me on the strategic framework and criteria for the allocation of funds from the National Skills Authority (NSA) and on any regulations to be made for the implementation of the Skills Act,” said Minister Nzimande.
The Minister further said Niddrie advised him on the reports on the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA) liaison regarding the implementation of the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDP) and Sector Plans.
The Minister said Niddrie was also a stalwart of the liberation movements, in particular of the South African Communist Party (SACP), the African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
He was a media specialist who worked as an editor for many publications which includes the SACP publications, the Communist and Umsebenzi. He also worked for media houses which included the Benoni City Times, IPC Publications in London, Rand Daily Mail, Sunday Tribune and City Press, among others.
“ I must indicate that Niddrie media activism dates back to 1972 at the Benoni City Times as a trainee journalist up until his work with the SACP African Communist and Umsebenzi and many other publications which he continued to make contributions to this day,” said Minister.
Minister Nzimande said Niddrie was also a selfless and self-disciplined leader who was concerned about the welfare of the poor and the destitute. He demonstrated his gracious leadership by always making time to training upcoming journalists who worked in the publications that he led and worked for.
He was also the founder member of the Campaign for Open Media and the Campaign for Independent Broadcasting and served on the executive structures between 1989 and 1993. These were among the broad-based organisations campaigning for media freedom and the transformation of the SABC from an apartheid state broadcaster to a public broadcaster.
In this capacity, he jointly drafted criteria for membership of the first independently appointed SABC board, and appointment process.
NIddrie also held directorships of the Public Broadcasting Initiative, the Mopani Media (Pty) Ltd, Yarona FM (Botswana), YHM (Pty) Ltd (Botswana), South African Broadcasting Corporation, the State Information Technology Agency (Sita), Southern Africa Report and Intengu Consulting (Pty) Ltd, amongst others.
May his revolutionarily soul rest in peace.
Source: Government of South Africa