About us

The Drone Council SA was initiated in 2019, as an industry response to create a platform of affiliation by the various established companies  and new entrants into the industry. The all-inclusive launch was planned for May 2020, but postponed due to the lockdown.

It is a membership- based entity, and will endeavor to empower its members. The Council’s main objective is to organize its members and other stakeholders to enhance robust development of the drone economy in South Africa.

Drone W Camera
Seeds of the Council establishment were planted in March 2019, when the then Department of Economic Development (now in DTIC) initiated a Drone Economy Dialogue between government, the drone industry, training institutions, research bodies and regulators. After several consultations, the Drone Economy Workgroup was established by parties and has developed position papers on three workstreams:
  • Drone Industry SMME Incubation and Licensing
  • Drone Industry Development and
  • Drone Industry Data and regulatory environment.
The Drone Council SA has a database of both established, new entrants and new licencees.
Why we exist

To realise South Africa's strategy within the 4th Industrial Revolution and the objectives of the National Development Plan.

Our Vision

To position South Africa’s drone industry as a leader in Africa, and a formidable global market player.

Our Mission

In partnership with significant industry stakeholders, we will achieve a conducive regulatory and operating environment.

Meet Our Board

Irvin Phenyane​
Chairman
Bio Summary
Chairperson & Non-Executive Director – Drone Council SA (NPO) Mr Irvin Phenyane has been in aviation for 20 years, including greenfield airport projects as well as innovative disruptive projects for aviation destination development. He is currently a Non-Executive-Director of both Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA). He served for 4 years in the International Air Services Licensing Council. As CEO of N4 Logistics and Director of Sodika Group, they partnered with the taxi industry during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup and 2013 CAF Football Tournament. This business consultant is mostly fascinated by projects that are disruptive and transformational. He holds a B.Sc, two Postgraduate Diplomas and a Masters of Management (MM) degree.
Ken Venn​
Board Member
Bio Summary
Ken is the founder of UAVI, one of the largest drone training and operations businesses in South Africa. Ken is an exco member of CUAASA and has assisted in the development and modernisation of drone regulations. Ken is a mechanical engineer by training with a business career focussed on high technology industries combined with data and innovation. He was a founder of the most successful business incubator in Africa, the Bandwidth Barn, in 2001. He is globally acknowledged for his experience in and contribution to the drone industry and has represented the South African Drone industry at ICAO and at many global conferences.
Angelina Maseko​​
Board Member
Bio Summary
Angelina Ntombikayise Maseko is Chairperson of Rugged Africa SA. Rugged SA offers an Awesome Range of Drones from entry-level hobby drones, to high-end drones, which includes features such as 4K/FHD Infrared camera, 4KM range and follow me home function. Angelina Ntombikayise Maseko has experience of more than 23 years in the Information Communication and Technology Sector, Telecommunication and Broadcasting, Business Development, Marketing & Sales, Stakeholder Management, Project Management, Operations and Customer Care. Angelina is a member of Parish Priest Council-Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Director of Rugged Africa/SA, Chairperson Ikanya Telecoms and Chairperson Nosazi Investments (Pty) Ltd
Shaun Ledlie​
Board Member
Bio Summary
Shaun Ledlie is intimately involved in all aspects of training within the Aviation industry of Southern Africa. He is the president of the Association of Aviation training organisations of South Africa (npc), www.Aatosa.co.za whom he represents on the Civil Aviation Regulatory Council Commitee, CARCOM. Shaun is also a director of the Commercial Aviation association of Southern Africa (npc). www.caasa.co.za. In the past Shaun worked for the World food Programme ( WFP) setting up and managing aviation infrastructure in Afghanistan. Shaun has always been passionate about training and pioneered online aviation training in South Africa and the African continent over the last 10 years. Let the training begin.
Kelebogile Molopyane​
Board Member
Bio Summary
Ms Kelebogile Molopyane is an Entrepreneur, Mindset Coach, published author and currently the CEO for AB4IR. Kelebogile Molopyane has 19 years’ experience in the enterprise development space across all industries, 12 years’ experience in professional coaching and over the past 10 years she has been instrumental in setting up business incubators and accelerators across South Africa. She recently achieved her MBA through Mancosa where her dissertation focused on the effect of business incubation on the success of start-ups. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management, a Degree in Public Management, and Diplomas in Professional and Consciousness Coaching through Creative Consciousness International Academy and, Universities of Pretoria and Cape Town respectively. Ms Molopyane is an International Labour Organization (ILO) Facilitator and Growthwheel licensed Practitioner. She was recently in Denmark and China respectively to learn more about “Business Incubation Operations and Management” and “Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Value Chains” Her motto is to “be the change she wants to see.”
Jack Shilubana​
Board Member
Bio Summary
Jack Shilubana has over 25 years experience in the Information Communication and Technology industry. Jack Shilubana has worked in government as a Government Information technology Officer in the Department of Correctional Services. He has spent the past 10 years of his career in IT Consulting. He is the Managing Director of Ntiyiso Aviation Services Pty(Ltd) and holds a BSc, a Project management certificate, and MDP an RPL and aviation quality course among others.

Our Purpose & Objectives

Our objective is to facilitate growth of the SA Drone Economy through:
  • Drone Industry Collaboration
  • Business Incubation
  • Industry Sectoral Optimization
  • Massification of Drone Pilot Training
  • SA Industry Global Competitiveness
  • Industry Transformation
  • Harness Manufacturing and Maintenance Capacity

The Problem Statement

  • South Africa is playing catch up, despite being the first to approve RPAS regulations.
  • The main problem is lack of speed and efficiency on the regulator’s side.
  • Funding institutions have now lost confidence in the drone industry due to the delays in obtaining the necessary rights and permits.
  • The turnaround at the regulatory authority are a major obstacle to industry development.
  • Inadequate capacity and public education among public institutions regarding the drone industry.
  • Lack of public funding for development of drone industry.
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