Leadership and governance
The foundation is an incorporated association and approved as a public benefit organisation (PBO) for the purposes of section 18A (1) (a) of the Act.
The foundation has nine directors:
• Dr Patrick J Masika, Chairman
Patrick is the director of the Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute at the University of Fort Hare and is trained in animal health and production, phytomedicine, and project management and evaluation.
His work focuses on social and economic issues which result in rural communities gaining independence through small self-help initiatives.
These include food gardens (training and actual production), portable egg laying chicken projects, goat production, pig production and cattle production.
He has also worked with rural communities in large-scale income generating projects which built soft and technical skills.
In addition, he has led numerous consultancies in various areas of research, agriculture production, training and development.
• Brian du Plessis, Financial and managing director
Brian studied business administration at the University of Oklahoma (USA) and worked for the Barlow Rand Group of companies (BarlowWorld) for 25 years.
His background includes information technology (IT) in various management positions including IT director where he was responsible for financial management, planning, design and implementation of information systems as well as project management.
• Jeri du Plessis, Project director
Jeri holds diplomas in nursing (Addington Hospital in 1964) and nature conservation (Technikon RSA – now the University of South Africa in 1991).
Jeri’s track record includes project coordinator for development projects at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
• Odwa Njoba, Administrative director
A Keiskammahoek villager, Odwa has a diploma in cost and management accounting.
This dynamic individual began his working career with the foundation in 2006 and is responsible for the foundation’s activities and employees.
• Bonisile P Norushe, Social facilitation director
An honours business administration graduate of the United Kingdom’s Greenwich University’s business school, Bonisile also holds a national diploma in business and finance from Kilburn College (United Kingdom) which he achieved with five distinctions.
His experience includes military training in Lesotho and Moscow.
More recently, he was a regional manager with the Buffalo City Metroplitan Municipality.
Other experience includes various roles with in the retail environment.
He has held various trade union positions and is experienced in human resource management.
Currently, Bonisile is treasurer of the Keiskammahoek Irrigation Scheme and Seven Stars Dairy Secondary Cooperative. He is also a vegetable farmer and the provincial chairperson of the ANC Veterans league.
• Lumka Maso, farmer and non- executive director
Lumka Maso, named regional and provincial female farmer for the year in 2009, is the chairperson of the Amahlathi Hawker and a member of the Amathlathi crafter associations.
She holds various certificates in women’s empowerment, dairy cattle production, craft production, production, fashion design and dress making, retailing and HIV/Aids management for SMMEs from institutions such as the Fort Hare Institute of Management, ECDC, the Eastern Cape Aids Council and the International Republication Institute.
The foundation’s accounts are audited annually by chartered accountants Meyer, Hodgson & Co in Johannesburg and made available to communities in the interests of transparency.
The foundation’s team
The Siyakholwa team is made up of a dynamic team with over 15 years experience in planning, implementation and management of rural development projects in Keiskammahoek in the Eastern Cape