Juanita Pardesi / Chief Executive Officer
Juanita Pardesi has a formidable track record in programme and financial management in the development sector. She possesses advanced expertise in project design and implementation, project management, financial management, capacity-building and skills transfers, translating strategy into operational objectives and activities, corporate governance, HR, risk assessments, evaluating projects, due diligent audits, and stakeholder management. These competencies are further enhanced by her ability to understand complex information and reporting systems, and her use of innovative GIS mapping tools to support monitoring, evaluation and learning. She has vast expertise in the financial appraisal, implementing value for money frameworks, contracting, grant management, reporting and business process re-engineering.
Her professional repertoire includes chief operations officer at ComMark Trust and Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), as well as serving as a technical assistant to the Government Technical Advisory Center (GTAC) to provide grant management expertise to the Jobs Fund. Her commitment to “making markets work for the poor” is evidenced through her involvement in the design and implementation of the Community Work Programme (CWP) and GIZ’s Community Safety Initiative. She has provided management and technical assistance to various large projects over the years including technical advice services to the GTAC (National Treasury), the Department of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), the Community Work Programme (CWP), the Apparel Lesotho Alliance to Fight Aids (ALAFA), the Lesotho Textiles and Apparel Training and Productivity Fund, ComMark Regional Standards Trade Programme, Eastern Cape Red Meat Project and the Private Sector Innovation Fund. She serves as a Board Member of Apparel Lesotho Alliance to Fight AIDS (ALAFA) and serves on various non-government organisations’ finance committees.
Between 2013 and 2016, Juanita served as the project manager on the Land Rights Management facility (LRMF) which provides legal and mediation services to the poor, marginalised and indigent people in rural farming areas, to support land tenure reform and to contribute to stabilising and improving social relations in rural communities. She holds an MBA (UNISA SBL and the Open University Business School, United Kingdom).
Dr Gavin Andersson / Director: Learning and Innovation
Gavin Andersson has had a great variety of work experiences in organisational development, strengthening civil society organisations, and leadership spanning more than 20 years. He started working life as a diamond prospector for De Beers and quantity surveyor’s clerk while studying for a BSc, before becoming involved in re-starting the black South African trade union movement. He was banned by the Apartheid Government in 1976.
He possesses a variety of personal skills which feed into his passion for training and capacitation, including, being a guitar teacher, experience finding his own income streams through growing vegetables and learning carpentry. He has extensive experience in and involvement in enterprise creation and civic initiatives. He was founder and co-ordinator of CORDE, which worked with community enterprises in Botswana. He later led a management consultancy, working across southern Africa and in the Caribbean. He has worked in the field of Business Social Responsibility and led the Social Impact Assessments on BP operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and was peer assessor for the Tanzanian SIA exercise.
On his return to South Africa post-democracy, he led a development advocacy organization, then formed a southern African leadership network. Gavin is co-creator of Kwanda, the reality TV show on community transformation and was one of the pioneers of the Community Work Programme (CWP). He co-founded the Seriti Institute. He is a member of the Council of ICNL and was elected to the Council of both the Botswana and South African NGO Coalitions. He was a founder and member of Council of AccountAbility and later helped create the African Institute for Corporate Citizenship. He is a member of faculty of the United Nations University Leadership Academy and is a member of Synergos’ panel on Bridging Leadership. He is a distinguished fellow of the Chair in Development Education housed at UNISA and a senior research associate of the Chair for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg. He was a founder and chairman of the board of the Mmegi Publishing Trust. He is a member of the Integrated Reporting Committee chaired by Judge Mervyn King. He holds a PhD in Development Studies from The Open University in the United Kingdom.
Blessing Rufetu / Finance and Office Manager
Blessing Rufetu has over ten years’ experience in local and International NGOs; has supported a wide range of related activities ranging from humanitarian programme administration, social emergency response interventions as well as communicable disease prevention programmes. She has worked as part of the EU and Justice Department initiative aimed at addressing Human Rights issues. She has worked for WaterAid, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene NGO incorporated in Ireland as a Regional Finance Officer supporting programme interventions across Southern Africa. She has extensive work experience across corporate governance, financial accountability, financial management, risk management, organisational resource optimisation, accounting, company secretarial duties and operational management. She holds a CIS Professional Degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). She is an Associate Member of Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa, Fellow Member Chartered Institute of Business Management and a Commissioner of Oaths.
Simon Leshoai / Programme Manager
Simon Leshoai began his career at the Society for Family Health as a reproductive health trainer. He has extensive experience in GSM/cellular telecommunication retail sector, sales and customer relationship management at M-tel, I-Talk Cellular and Nashua Mobile. He has experience in business operations, entrepreneurship, stakeholder relationship management and co-operative management support, the Anglo American Platinum Belt Project, as well as electronic distribution of IT services into the low income segment of the market, digital media technologies, and advertising. He has been involved in the Community Work Programme (CWP) since the program found a new home in DCoG, from the Presidency, and was being taken to scale. An exciting period indeed, as he got exposed to the inception of new sites while honing his skills in stakeholder engagement as well as overall program management and delivery.
Sandy Dlamini Zhanda / Programme Manager and OW Operations
Sandy Dlamini Zhanda started her career as a researcher working for the EcoCity Trust and moved quickly to Senior Programmes Administrator, where she worked closely with the project teams to ensure correlation between performance and project objectives. Here she gained extensive experience in management, programme design, planning and reporting. She has extensive experience with the Community Work Programme (CWP) which entails implementing innovative information management practices and procedures for ongoing organisational and project effectiveness. She possesses advanced expertise in facilitating and coordinating better management reporting, Supply Chain management and support services. She holds a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Environmental Science from Rhodes University.
Nomsa Maseko / Contracts and Company Secretary
Nomsa Maseko has over 20 years’ experience in administrative support roles. She is currently Company Secretary at Seriti Institute. She started at Seriti Institute as a Business Process Manager assisting staff in adhering to all processes set out by the organisation in order to ensure organisational effectiveness through facilitating improved coordination, communication and reporting across various programmes and/or units, and contributed extensively to the organisation’s development during its formative years. Previously, she was on the Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) team that managed the Community Work Programme (CWP) while it was with the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and up until its move to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional (COGTA).
At TIPS, she monitored CWP participation for the two Implementing Agents piloting the programme, and ran the Web-Based System for the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) and ensured that all activities and demographics data were properly recorded and reported. She has experience in executive servicing, financial administration and HR matters which date back from her career in the banking sector, at the South African Revenue Service, and at ComMark Trust. Nomsa is a registered chartered secretary with Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa and holds a diploma in Financial Management.
Nobuhle Ncube / Executive Assistant
Nobuhle Ncube brings expertise in support services and is experienced in aspects of project operations, logistics support and administration. Nobuhle served on the Land Rights Management Facility as a CPA Administrator at Cheadle Thompsom and Haysom Inc. tracking work plan deliverables on CPAs from 2013 to 2016. This work involved regularising Communal Property Associations in terms of statutory compliance. She also has experience in office management, HR administration and procurement administration for large-scale projects. She and has excellent proofreading, editing and report writing skills. Her experience extends to preparing and drafting monthly reports (including legal reports), reviewing portfolios of evidence, compiling statistics, managing an electronic and hard copy filing system, and updating the case management system. She is experienced in events management and coordination of workshops and functions. Nobuhle holds a Bachelor of Arts in law from the University of Pretoria and a Business Management Diploma from Birnam Business College. She also has a Certificate in Communal Property Associations – Accredited by the Law Society and Legal Education.
Alwyn Esterhuizen / Technical Programme Manager
Alwyn Esterhuizen brings considerable experience in data management, supply chain processes, spatial analysis and systems administration. He has developed customised management information systems aimed at providing comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analyses of his clients’ activities; including comprehensive data analysis at provincial and municipal scale to create in-depth and dashboard perspectives. His hands-on approach gained him a reputation as “the go-to person” to implement difficult projects in high-pressure contexts. His excellent attention to detail and discipline has enabled him to achieve success in fast-paced rapidly transitioning environments where his skills in geographic information systems add descriptive information to project data.
Alwyn is adept in the field of geo-informatics and its use in project management, transport planning and development, spatially enriched alpha-numeric databases, custom-designed geospatial applications, and the development and deployment of spatially enabled web-based applications. He has worked with a variety of organisations and government departments, including, Cheadle Thompson & Haysom Inc., Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) as well as the South African Departments of Transport, Tourism, and Arts and Culture, the Housing Development Agency, the Gauteng and Free State Provincial Departments of Transport, the Gauteng Department of Education, and the City of Tshwane. He had special project involvement on the Land Rights Management Facility (developing a customised MIS), the Community Work Programme (CWP) (developing a GIS mapping platform), the GIZ Community Safety Initiative training fieldworkers and community members on GIS mapping techniques) and in GIS Mapping in his consultancy work. As a GIS project manager, he is responsible for the development and deployment of spatially-enabled web-based applications using ESRI ArcGIS Server, ArcSDE and ArcIMS. He is highly proficient in ArcGIS Spatial Analyst, ArcEditor, MapInfo, Maptitude, TransCad, Promap and Ms SQL. He holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental sciences and an Honours in geo-informatics both from the University of Pretoria.
Struan Robertson / Knowledge Management Coordinator
Struan Robertson began his career at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), which is an independent, non-profit, economic research institution, and at the Manufacturing Circle – an association representing a cross-section of manufacturing firms in South Africa. He was involved in data collection, processing and analysis where he assisted senior researchers on a number of diverse projects. He performed research on renewable energy production, industrial financing and the relationship between manufacturing and economic growth. His research on the plantation forestry industry in South Africa was published and is available on the TIPS website. Previously, he worked on a project-by-project basis variously as an uncredited contributing writer, a consultant and as a resource person from research and surveys in cultural economics, to compiling a report on cross-border trade in SADC and performing analyses on economic growth opportunities in Africa. Struan brings a wealth of economic development knowledge to his work at Seriti Institute in community development. Here, he provides technical support to senior management, the training unit and IT operations. He operationalises the development of internal resources and templates including publications, manages the company website and corporate stationery, and provides research and copyediting support to the team. His Master of Economics degree is in economic development, sustainability and development policy, entitled: Toward Universal Sustainability: Strategies and Guidelines. The degree has been awarded and is to be conferred in April 2019. Struan also holds a Bachelor of Economics in economics and industrial and economic sociology, and an Honours in economics from Rhodes University. He is an alumnus of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung/University of Fort Hare Autumn School on Social Democracy and Political Economy.
Ntongolozi Bembe / Programmes Coordinator
Ntongolozi Bembe has more than 8 years’ experience in community development and programme/project management working with government, academia and in the NGO space. She has the ability to establish and maintain solid alliances and partnerships with valuable stakeholders. She began her career at the University of Witwatersrand as a facilitator, and then later at the Wits Language School as a Regional Supervisor in the Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces with the aim of improving the level of education among youth. She started at Seriti as a Technical Support Manager and then moved on to become a District Manager, a Programmes Coordinator and then the Training Coordinator. Here, she is responsible for the operations of the training unit, with the emphasis on strategic planning and the development of systems and processes. Ntongolozi is an experienced and skilled facilitator and is accredited in a number of community development training courses as an assessor and moderator. Ntongolozi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Sociology and African Languages from the University of Witwatersrand, a Diploma in Project Management from Rosebank College. She also holds a postgraduate Diploma in Management in public and development management from the Wits School of Governance. She has a clear understanding of the interplay between politics, the economy and development, and she is fascinated by how public policy is formulated and strongly advocates for good governance and active citizenry.
Ronny Nkunzana / Programmes Administrator
Ronny Nkunzana started his career in the Community Work Programme (CWP) as a site coordinator and later as a supervisor and a storekeeper under the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). He later moved within the CWP to work for Seriti Institute, as a site administrator. Ronny has grown immensely in his career journey and now works in the Seriti training and capacitation unit as our Training Administrator. Here, he supports the administrative functioning of all our training courses and workshops. Ronny is a qualified training assessor (level 5) and moderator (level 6) with the ETDPSETA, and he holds a certificate in Community Development (level 4).
Bheki Muchanhuenhe / Finance Officer
Bheki Muchanhuenhe began his career at Seriti Institute as an accounts clerk. He has since become a finance officer and works closely with our finance manager. Here he assists with all financial processes and administration. Friendly and committed, Bheki is a hard worker with excellent bookkeeping and accounting skills. Bheki is currently studying toward a Bachelor of Commerce with the University of Johannesburg.
Harmony Khoza / Intern
Harmony Khoza is from a small village called Timbavati in Acronhoek, Bushbuckridge. He has a passion for helping people to uplift themselves, for creating better livelihoods, and working in an ecologically sustainable way. Harmony worked for the Global White Lion Protection Trust for 5 years in a community project assisting schools with local crafts, drama, art, traditional dancing and promoting of indigenous knowledge systems. He worked for a school programme under Wildlands Conservation Trust planting indigenous trees and dealing with waste recycling. He has 3 years’ experience working in the Shangaan community where his focus has been on teaching people about the history and heritage of the Shangaan people. For the last two years, Harmony has been pursuing his dream of starting a community project around cultural education, tourism and a network of social services.
Harmony joined Seriti in January 2019, in an Intern position. The Global White Lion Protection Trust is proud to be a partner organisation, and has directed independent donor funding to an internship program for emerging leadership with Seriti Institute. The internship provides him with exposure to all elements of operations management and to the theory and practice of community development, training workshops, participatory techniques, research methodologies, design thinking, project management and finance, and other skills which will assist him on going forward with community-driven initiatives.