Luthando’s experience spans spatial planning, transport planning, urban management tools and analysis, stakeholder management and international leadership, youth development, facilitating/curating and thought leadership. He is a skilled strategist in translating policies into implementation plans and a good driver of innovation within policy and strategy.
Luthando currently adds value in the public sector as a policy and strategy specialist, specifically in intergovernmental relations with other Provincial departments, National government, State Owned Entities and Local municipalities in the Western Cape. His focus is mainly transport and infrastructure, managing the coordination and leading planning within the Department of Transport and Public Works and with other spheres of government. He is also an active participant in the move by municipalities towards Transit Oriented Development and as well as the strategic utilisation of Public Private Partnerships to manage urban pressures for development and demand for services.
Luthando is a qualified City and Regional Planning professional and is registered with the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN). Luthando is the Chairperson of the South African Planning Institute (SAPI) for the Western Cape. SAPI is an organisation which seeks to promote planning as a professional discipline while advocating for the interests of the planning profession. It consists of a wide spectrum of sectors from private to public sector planning professionals, those in academia and non-governmental organisations. Luthando has been with the organisation for seven years.
He is also a Mandela Washington Fellow, a leadership programme developed by President Barack Obama and the United States State Department, as part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, launched in 2013. He was selected out of over 50,000 applications across Sub-Saharan Africa as one of 500 exceptional young people across the African continent for a six-week Fellowship including a formal Public Management & Civic Leadership programme at Wagner College, New York and is now a Wagner International Associate. Following his fellowship he was elected the Chairperson for the Regional Advisory Board, which serves as an advisor to the United States Government in the development and enhancement of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Africa-based Mandela Washington Fellowship regional leadership programmes, and priorities to be considered for investment in youth development on the continent. Luthando leverages exposure to other high impact young Africans, forming part of his network across the continent of entrepreneurs, private sector professionals, public management officials and civic leaders. This network includes professionals in the African Union (AU) which has led to the consideration of the youth in the implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063, which was cemented by the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding between the AU and the Mandela Washington Fellows in August 2016.
In July 2016, Luthando was invited by the United States White House to be a contributor and speaker at then President Obama’s inaugural White House Summit on Global Development. The Summit was hosted by Obama to discuss global development goals and investments, as well as private and public sector partnerships. The Summit was attended by corporate executives, civil society, diplomats, entrepreneurs, senior US officials and leaders of development organisations in global health, energy, food security, governance, partnerships and youth engagement.
He also consults and works with start-ups and small to medium businesses, advising on strategy, access to market and holistic development of their management teams. He also advises on city development issues with both consultants and senior officials at metro municipalities. He supports an NGO called Educating Athletes, which assists prospective young athletes from underprivileged backgrounds with academic support, mentoring in leadership development and their sporting development. He is a freelance photographer in his spare time, and loves hiking and reading.
Part of his time in the US was also being under the mentorship and guidance of Dr Abe Unger, an Associate Professor of Government and Politics at Wagner College. Luthando worked with Dr Unger on a paper to be published, “Globalization and Social Justice: The Case of Public Private Partnerships”, where they explored the case of Public Private Partnerships being a necessary vehicle to get urban areas to mitigate globalisation, improve the performance of urban space economy and addressing social justice. Luthando has developed a strategy and implementation plan on Organisational Culture for the Department of Transport and Public Works, a strategy for the Department towards succession planning (mentoring and ethical leadership) in a time where the needed skills are wearing thin and the relevant institutional memory nearing exit out of the system; and a culture of leadership, that would optimise and stimulate innovative ways to go about business.