Lionel October served government with distinction, says Patel

30th April 2021 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Lionel October served government with distinction, says Patel

Lionel October

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has paid tribute to the outgoing director-general of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Lionel October, describing him as “a loyal and dedicated public servant who has served government with distinction”.

October stepped down to take up a position as the head of the new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) unit at the Industrial Development Corporation from May 1.

He will also act as an adviser on industrial policy and related matters to the Ministry.

“Mr October has served government with distinction over the past 20 years and developed deep experience and insight into a range of policy matters, including industrial policy. He has driven, in the past two years, the revised SEZ strategy adopted by Cabinet in 2019.

“He has also been responsible for highly-effective implementation strategies in the range of areas that he led in government,” acclaims Patel.

October joined the department as a chief director of industrial policy in 2001, served as the deputy director-general responsible for enterprise and economic development, and served as an economic and trade diplomat at the South African embassy in Brussels from 2007 to 2011.

He was appointed DTIC director-general on May 1, 2011, and served two terms of office.

October spearheaded key industrial and enterprise development policies such as the National Industrial Policy Framework and Action Plan, the re-imagined Industrial Strategy and the development and implementation of broad-based black economic empowerment legislation, and the development and growth of the SEZs, besides others.

In the past decade, he received the Best Performing Director-General Award and the DTIC has received numerous Best Performing Department Awards. It has also secured four consecutive clean audits from the Office of the Auditor General.

“These accolades are not only testimony to the considerable personal achievements of director-general October but also to the role he played in the development of a young and demographically diverse staff in the DTIC.

“We are grateful that October responded warmly to our request that we not lose his services to the wider DTIC family. He will therefore drive the spatial development work covering SEZs, industrial parks and the District Development Model.

“One behalf of the DTIC family, I wish to thank him sincerely for one job completed and wish him well in the new responsibilities he is taking up on our behalf in the other new job,” says Patel.