National transport department director-general Godfrey Selepe died on Monday morning after a long illness.
“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 transport minister Blade Nzimande in a statement on Tuesday evening.
“This is a great loss to government, the transport sector and South Africa. He is a veteran with vast experience in the public sector at both provincial and national levels.”
Selepe joined the national transport department in 1999 and was appointed DG on March 1 2015.
He matriculated from Seshego High School in 1979 before obtaining a diploma in state finance from the University of Limpopo and later a master's degree in public and development management from Wits.
Selepe oversaw affairs at SEOs such as the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) as the chief director of civil aviation.