Lionel October

A seasoned policy maker, Lionel is the former Director-General for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, a position he left in April 2021 to take up a post as the head of the new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Unit at the Industrial Development Corporation from 1 May 2021. He also acts as an Advisor on Industrial Policy and related matters to the Ministry.

Lionel 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 as an Economic and Trade Diplomat at the South African Embassy in Brussels from 2007 to 2011. He was appointed Director-General on 1 May 2011 and served two terms of office in that role. While at the Department, he aided in developing and growing SEZs.

In addition to his role at TASEZ, he is acting Commissioner of the National Lotteries Commission, a position he assumed in September 2022.

Lionel received the Best Performing Director-General Award in 2015. Prior to joining the civil service, he worked in the trade union movement for 10 years, including being the General Secretary of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union and also served as a senior Commissioner at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

Lionel holds MSc Degree in Economics (Development) from the University of London, as well as a Law Degree and BA Honours in Law and Development studies from the University of the Western Cape.