Ms Janet Love has dedicated her working life to public service.
Ms Love joined the Electoral Commission as a part-time Commissioner in April 2016, and then full-time as Vice-Chairperson in November 2018.
Ms Love was appointed to the Commission following a unique recommendation by Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee. All parties, including the three major political parties represented on the committee, unanimously agreed that Ms Love was the right candidate because of her integrity, considerable skills and depth of experience.
Having played a role in fighting for freedom as an anti-apartheid activist in the 1970s, Ms Love went into exile in 1978. She returned to South Africa as part of the underground structures of the liberation movement in 1987 and, after obtaining her indemnity in 1991, immediately became involved in negotiating South Africa's new constitution and establishing its first government.
She was a member of the management team at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) and also served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Transitional Executive Council (TEC). The TEC was responsible for, among others, developing and overseeing the work of critical areas of government including foreign affairs, finance, local government and policing to enable elections to proceed under direction of the 1994 Independent Electoral Commission.
Ms Love served as a Member of Parliament for the African National Congress in the first democratic Parliament from 1994 to 1999, and was a member of the 22-person Constitutional Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, the body responsible for steering the constitution-making process.
Ms Love then served in various government and civil society institutions, including working in the South African Reserve Bank for five years as head of strategic analysis dealing with various security risks relating to cash that affected South Africa’s financial stability.
Ms Love has a strong commitment to human rights and, in her capacity as National Director of the Legal Resources Centre from 2006 to 2018, she has taken up public interest and constitutional cases on behalf of marginalised communities and individuals.
Before joining the Electoral Commission in 2016, Ms Love also served a seven-year term (2009-2016) as a part-time member of the South African Human Rights Commission, a Chapter 9 institution tasked with safeguarding South Africa’s democracy.
Ms Love studied through the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of London and has post-graduate qualifications in public administration and development management, including an MSc degree in public financial management.