Rre Elija Litheko, Executive Director, The Institute of People Management

Rre. Elijah Litheko is widely recognized for his commitment and dedication to advancing leadership and excellence in human resources management and development.
His leadership skills were honed in the streets of the township where he grew up as a youth leader and Civic Association leader during the days of the mass democratic movement in the Apartheid South Africa. He negotiated and implemented a relationship-building program with the unions during a time of political unrest and mass demonstrations while he was a Regional HR manager for Hunt Leuchars and Hepburn (HLH) in the 1980s.
In the 1990’s Rre Elijah Litheko assumed responsibility for the strategic management and leadership of the Human Resource function at a national level for the South African Forestry Company Limited (SAFCOL), where he was a member of the Executive team as General Manager: Human Resources. His overall responsibilities included the management of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme and multiple stakeholders. When SAFCOL was restructured in 2002 in terms of the South African government’s National Framework Agreement, Rre Litheko established his own HR consultancy company – “Magical HR”, providing HR and transformation related support services to the subsidiaries of the restructured SAFCOL. During this period he also extended his consultancy services to companies such as ACSA and Mintek. He also led and facilitated the highly successful Black Advancement Leadership Program, later on assuming a leadership role as a member of the Executive team, in the restructuring and transformation of the South African Forestry Company Limited (SAFCOL) as head of HR.
Since joining IPM in 2006 Rre Litheko has been steadily rebuilding it and enhancing its service offerings. He prepared and led the organisation through it’s professionalising journey as well as overseen and initiated numerous strategic partnerships that have enhanced the internal operation of the Institute and it’s outward reach. The Institute of People Management obtained recognition from South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) in 2012 through meeting a rigorous set of criteria in terms of how it operates and serves its members. This recognition empowers the Institute to participate in all activities that will contribute to the shaping of the education and training landscape in South Africa. Rre Litheko envisions IPM playing a pivotal role in shaping the transformation of HR both locally and internationally. His action and
outcomes-focused approach has paved the way for IPM to offer leading-edge programs in key areas of HR.
The Institute partners with organizations that conduct research to bring latest trends and developments in the HR field to the African continent. Rre Litheko was identified to lead and develop the HR profession through the Institute so that he could assist organizations to position themselves within a global operating context as well as the emerging democratic dispensation in South Africa. In addition to his comprehensive experience across a vast range of HR functions, his enviable list of qualifications make him well qualified for this responsibility. He draws on a bank of considerable business and HR experience in this role, which not only demands overall management and leadership of the organization, but also influence on government, business and society at large.
He attributes his success to his perseverance, understanding of the context in which he operates, and his ability to use resources effectively to achieve strategic goals. He became involved in his profession as he wanted to help organizations become more productive and competitive within a global context.
Rre. Litheko holds an MBA Degree from De Montfort University (UK); a B/Tech in Human Resources from the University of South Africa ; a Postgraduate Diploma in Labour Law from GIMT; Senior Executive Program - London Business School (UK); International Human Resource Program - Galilee International Management Institute, Israel; HR Diploma from the Institute of People Management (IPM) South Africa ; Certificate in Strategy Facilitation - Leadership Strategies Facilitation Company, Atlanta; Management Development Programmes from – University of Cape Town; University of Witwatersrand; and Gordon Institute of Business Science; Board Training Certificates from the Institute of Directors and CGF Research Institute.
He played a pivotal role in the establishment of the African Human Resource Confederation (AHRC), which is affiliated to the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA).
At Civic level, Rre Litheko served as chairperson of the Kanana Parents Committee, President of the Kanana Civic Association and Chairperson of the Education Crisis Committee from the late 1970’s to 1990. Outside of his busy professional career, he enjoys social golf, reading and travelling. In five years, Rre. Litheko plans to continue working with Africa and contribute to the development of its human capital. In addition, Rre Litheko is passionate about the development of emerging HR practitioners.
Rre Litheko currently serves on the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa (HRDCSA), which is chaired by the Deputy President of the country, the University of Kwazulu-Natal Council, the Board of the Southern African Society for Cooperative Education (SASCE), the Labour Market Advisory Council and he was also part of the Council of the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and the University of Johannesburg’s HRD Advisory Council. He is serves as a member of the interviewing panel of the Standard Bank Rising Star Awards.
Rre Litheko has now retired, however he has been requested by the IPM Board to continue supporting IPM as an Executive Consultant for Strategic Projects.