Former National Union of Mineworkers head Frans Baleni and current City of Johannesburg spokesman Gabu Tugwana have been elected to the Field Band Foundation’s (FBF) Board of Directors.

Baleni, who was NUM General Secretary from 2006 to 2015, is also deputy chairman of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, a member of the Council of the University of Johannesburg, and a director of Petro SA, among others. His long career in mining saw his involvement in SA’s epoch-making Codesa negotiations and in social citizenship fora, including as chairman until recently of the JB Marks Bursary Trust Fund, and in the corporate sustainability work of the Institute of Directors.

Gabu Tugwana was appointed spokesman to Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor (and former FBF chairman), Cllr Herman Mashaba, in October last year. He is a former journalist at various publications including the Rand Daily Mail; The World and Weekend World; and the community-based, nationally distributed New Nation. He also edited the New Nation with the late Zwelakhe Sisulu. He has been working for the City for 13 years in the Group Communication Department.

Welcoming the Foundation’s new directors, FBF chairman Brian Gibson said that Baleni and Tugwana bring vast experience and wisdom to the leadership of the Foundation. “Gabu returns to the board after a long break and Frans is fast making an impact. Both are encouraged by their colleagues to continue with the activism that contributed to the democratic transformation that our young band members enjoy today. Their sacrifices and public spiritedness stand as a fine example to us all.”

The Foundation is governed by a board of directors consisting of private sector leadership of the highest calibre, maintaining robust financial controls and governance procedures across the company. It is unusual in attracting support from across industry sectors, locally and internationally, from public and private sectors.

The FBF improves the quality of life of disadvantaged young people and gives them an opportunity to build a better future. Through music and movement, members take part in positive, joyful and affirming activities that teach them lifeskills and that develop their imagination, team spirit and self-discipline.