Board members

Dr Pravesh Debba, PhD: Chairman

Dr Pravesh Debba was born in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He obtained a BSc degree with majors in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in 1991. He completed an Honours degree in Statistics from UKZN in 1992. He was then appointed at UKZN in the Statistics Department in 1993 and at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 1994. In 1998, he completed an MSc degree in Biostatistics at Universiteit Hasselt in Belgium.

He was awarded a full scholarship from the Flemish Ministry of Education during this period. He then joined UKZN as a lecturer in Statistics in 2000. He completed his Ph.D. in Statistics in 2006 from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation ITC and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He was awarded a scholarship from ITC and grants from NRF Thuthuka during 2003–2008. In 2007, he returned to Unisa as an associate professor in the Statistics Department. In 2008, he joined the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR as a senior statistical researcher and promoted to principal statistical researcher in 2009.

Dr Debba has supervised MSc students, was external examiner to MSc theses, reviewer of several articles and conference proceedings and reviewed a number of national grant applications. Dr Debba’s research achievements include about 50 national or international presentations at conferences or workshops, two popular articles, and about 30 peer-reviewed publications published at ISI rated journals or conference proceedings. He is the deputy chairman of the board of ICCSSA.


Yoko Chhana: Director (Wits) - Chief Executive

Yoko Chhana holds a Master of Science (Mathematical Statistics) from University of KwaZulu Natal. She is a staff member in the School of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Witwatersrand and the Past President of the South African Statistical Association. She sits on the board of ICCSSA.


Valentina Litvine: Financial Director (ABSA Bank)

Valentina Litvine holds a Masters in Statistics from the University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom. Since graduating, she has worked in Marketing and sales forecasting, as a consultant in the banking industry, and is currently working as a Statistical Analyst at African Bank. Ms Litvine is the treasurer of ICCSSA.


Prof Igor Litvine, PhD: Director (NMMU)

Professor Igor Litvine holds a PhD in Mathematical statistics, MSc in Applied Mathematics and a diploma in Computer sciences from Kiev University. He is involved in a number of projects with various entities: Energy Demand Forecasting – Eskom; Time-Series Analysis with Paired Comparison Models; Statistical Analysis of Risks in Energy Sector due to Weather Exposure (TESP); Statistical Forecasting Modeling in Renewable Energy Generation; Investment Challenge and Investment Clinic (jointly with JSE); Customer Behaviour (jointly with FNB).

Prof Litvine has published 6 books, 45 papers in refereed journals and 3 software packages. His fields of professional expertise are lecturing, research, management, consulting and computer programming and information systems. His fields of expertise are paired comparison, financial statistics, statistics of risk, Statistics in Energy, Sport Statistics and Statistics in Gambling.

Prof Litvine is currently the Head of the Centre of Expertise in Forecasting at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He sits on the board of ICCSSA. 


 Philip Steyn: Director (ABSA)

Philip has a BSc in Business Mathematics and Informatics, BSc Honours in Computer Science and an MSc in Business Mathematics and Informatics (Majors: Bank Risk Management, Data-Mining & Statistics). While studying, he lectured at the PU for CHE and also at the Vaal-Driehoek Technikon. He completed his MSc with a project at ABSA in the field of Event-Driven Marketing. In July 2007 he started Multisoft Consulting (PTY) Ltd. Before starting his own consulting firm, he worked in various statistical and analytical implementation roles in the consulting services and financial services industries. The positions include senior manager of Credit Risk, and Management and Quantitative Modelling consulting at IQ Risk, as well as various roles at ABSA. His first role at ABSA was in the field of Customer Relationship Management and then in Enterprise-Wide Risk Management Development (recently changed to Group Credit, Portfolio Decision and Analysis). Mr Steyn sits on the board of ICCSSA. 

 Vanessa Ndlovu: Director (Eskom)

Vanessa Ndlovu has a BCom (Economics and Econometrics), BCom Hons (General Economics), an MCom (Economics) and is currently doing her PhD (Economics) with thesis topic: The Role of Renewable Energy in determining the optimal Energy mix for South Africa. She is a member of the Economic Society of South Africa (ESSA) and a member of the African Econometric Society (AES). She is currently acting Manager of the Centre of Energy Analytics at RT&D Eskom and she also serves in the executive role of Secretariat of the RT&D Investment Committee.



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