Board of Directors

Prof Michael Kidd

Chairman of the Board

Michael is the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at UKZN. He has a strong interest in environmental law and sustainable development. Michael has published five books and numerous academic articles in addition to being the editor of the South African Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. Michael has been the Chair of the Environmental Law association and is a member of the Governing Board of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

Dr Howard Hendricks

Vice Chairman of the Board
Portfolio: Conservation

Howard has 20 years' experience in community-based natural resource facilitation and management. Besides involvement in international and national environmental legislative governance, he currently focuses on Policy Development and Corporate Governance Frameworks for Protected Areas Management. He has a keen interest in the multi-facet of biodiversity conservation in protected areas, social change and conservation biology, environmental politics and political science, and environmental legislation. The subject of his PhD was socio-economic and ecological research across the major biomes of South Africa. Within his current role as Senior General Manager for Conservation in South African National Parks he holds extensive experience at senior management level towards the implementation of government strategies.

Dr Thommie Burger

Chief Executive Officer
Thommie has gained a wealth of executive, strategic and operational experience in a 30-year professional career spent as Group HR Director, Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer in a variety of industries, including transport, logistics, commercial vehicle dealerships, strategic consulting, human resource management, electrical and mechanical engineering, construction and company mergers. He has a track record of successful conceptualisation and implementation of financial and cultural turnaround strategies, in leading transformation and coaching interventions, and in human resources development and management strategies. Thommie has published a number of articles on HR management and is a professional executive, leadership and business coach.

Mr Andre Steyn


Andre is the Financial Director at the Artisan Training Institute (Pty) Ltd (ATI) where he is part of a dedicated team impacting the lives of young learners as they progress through their studies to develop into qualified artisans. He is a Durbanite, studied at UPE, completed his articles as audit manager at PKF Chartered Accountants; worked his way through the steel and pharmaceutical industries, as well as the dairy industry with DeLaval (Pty)Ltd of the TetraLaval Group. Andre commutes weekly to Johannesburg. Apart from finance, he also maintains a keen interest in IT and social media systems.

Dr Jenny Gon

Region/Member Liaison

Jenny is chair person of the WESSA Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth) Regional Committee, and has been a member of the WESSA's Grahamstown Branch committee for the past 14 years (which included 5 years as secretary and 4 years as chair). Her post-graduate studies focused on the dynamics of coastal sand dunes, she has done an ACE course in Environmental Education and she currently works as a publishing editor for a company based in Grahamstown that publishes African academic journals and information databases.

Dr Paul Bartels

Region/Member Liaison

Paul is a board member of ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories) and is a member of its Scientific Programme and the Strategic Planning standing committees. He is also a member of the international Global Genome Initiative. Paul has received a Mazda Wildlife Top Ten Conservationist of the Decade Award as well as a National Science Award for his contribution to Science and Technology in South Africa, and has authored or co-authored more than 40 peer-review research publications. Paul initiated a wildlife research and biomaterials banking project for biodiversity conservation and biotechnology development with EWT - a project recognised and taken over by the Department of Science and Technology.

Ms Loshni Naidoo

Loshni is the Integrated Reporting Project Director for SAICA, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. She is responsible for supporting its members, the broader finance community and society with the knowledge and tools to progress the conversation on, and the implementation of, integrated thinking and integrated reporting. Loshni began her career as a chemical engineer and worked for several years in the production and project environments, predominantly in the mining and chemicals sectors. Later, she moved into the accounting and finance sectors, focusing on providing integrated reporting and sustainability advisory and assurance solutions to clients across a diverse range of sectors.

Ms Mandisa Nyathikazi


Mandisa studied in the United States where she completed a Bachelors degree in Education in Milwaukee Wisconsin at Carthage College. She worked in education for a few years then went on to the corporate sector. She worked primarily in the healthcare sphere in marketing. In 2007, she went into partnership and bought ATI (Artisan Training Institute), formerly known as IFTA (Ikhaya Fundisa Techniskills Academy) and is currently the Executive Director. She has a deep dedication to developing young people. She enjoys cooking in her spare time.

Mr Ossie Carstens

Ossie is a mechanical engineer with extensive experience in the mining sector, both in the extracting and service spheres.  He completed an MBA at North-West University in 2004.  Ossie recently started his own energy management company, specifically focusing on ways to reduce energy loads. As a former divisional CEO and member of the Hudaco ExCo team, where he served as Group Executive of Occupational Health & Safety within Hudaco Industries, he has in depth knowledge of the operations and management of renewable and replacement energy sectors. The Hudaco Board continues to support his new venture as one of their Enterprise Development Initiatives.  As Managing Director of Lightcycle Energy Management, Ossie remains involved with a hands-on approach to develop energy solutions and the supply of alternative energy, combined with his skills in energy management programs and the preservation of energy.  

Mr Rimmon Kisten

Rimmon is the Managing Director/Founder at Icon Information Systems Pty Ltd (ICONIS). He combines an excellent academic skill set with key experiences in the planning, development and implementation of cutting edge information solutions designed to address key business opportunities and objectives. With over ten years of experience in senior management and leadership roles, Rimmon is quick to familiarise himself with the latest technologies and industry developments while demonstrating a logical and analytical approach to solving complex problems and issues. He possesses excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to develop and maintain positive internal and external relationships. Rimmon enjoys being part of - as well as leading - a successful and productive team and thrives in highly pressurised and challenging working environments.

Ms Shoki Ralebepa

Shoki is a qualified Chartered Accountant (SA) and has completed an Executive Development Programme with Gordons Institute of Business Science. She is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Small Enterprise Finance Agency SOC Ltd (sefa), where she manages five divisions. Prior to this Shoki served as a Financial Director at J Walter Thompson, and as Financial Controller at Roche. She serves on a number of different boards and has over 9 years experience in senior management roles at Board and EXCO level in blue chip companies in the telecommunications, banking, financial services and pharmaceutical industries.

Mr Douglas Ramaphosa

Douglas holds a MA degree in Social Science and has completed a programme for Executive Development at Lausanne in Switzerland.  He has worked at senior executive level for large organisations such as Transnet, Absa, Anglo American, Altron and Bytes Technology Group where he gained expertise in corporate affairs, government relations, sales and marketing, communications, investor relations, media relations, corporate strategy, small business development and transformation. He has extensive experience in the role of both non-executive director and chairman on several boards including National Business Initiative, Business Leadership South Africa, Eskom Enterprises, Rotek (Eskom subsidiary), Bytes Technology Group, Powertech and EnviroServ. Now semi-retired, Douglas continues to share his expertise by serving on a number of different boards.