Professor Zeblon Vilakazi has been appointed as the new Vice chancellor of Wits University.
Zeblon Vilakazi takes the reins from Professor Adam Habib, who leaves Wits at the end of the year to lead the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Vilakazi, who is set to begin the role on 1 January, believes 21st-century universities must be innovative.
He says universities must respond to challenges facing communities.
However he said his appointment should not be reduced to race as it had become culture that Indians, particularly men, dominated senior executive positions at Wits.