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Leadership & Management

Mr. Niel van Zijl

Chairperson

Niel van Zijl’s area of expertise is agriculture and agro-processing. He has a successful history as a grower and processor of fruit products

Marcia Mahlalela

Board Member

I am an accomplished executive with more than 15 years of management experience from Junior to Group Executive levels, in broadcasting and media that spans from strategy, content production, acquisitions, rights sales & projects management. 

Ms. Mashila Matlala

Non-Executive Director

Mashila is a highly accomplished Executive Business leader who has served across the ICT industry and is skilled in leading strategic marketing functions.

Victor Nesengani

Board Member

Victor Nesengani is an experienced horticulturist with expertise in business. Having held executive leadership roles, Victor offers a wealth of knowledge in Business Management & the Agricultural industry.

Mr. Dali Tambo

Board Member

Dali Tambo is the son of the Oliver (and Adelaide) Tambo- a well-known South African anti-apartheid politician who served as President of the African National Congress from 1967 to 1991.

Board Chairman: Mr. Niel van Zijl

A businessman for 35 years who has now dedicated to building capacity in the environmental and agricultural spaces. His road in the philanthropic space began in 2010 when appointed by Government and private sector to build strategic partnerships with communities in agricultural projects, including agro-processing.
Joined GDF in 2017 and is a past CEO of the organization. As current Chairman leads through its mission, goals, objectives and policies and works closely with Board, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the senior staff. Oversees organizational planning, resource management and monitoring of performance.

Previous experience in the NGO sector included work in Africa and Asia on missions and projects delivering the likes of USAID programs through large international NGO’S and private sector assignments.

Has immense experience in formulating bankable proposals to deliver impactful solutions. With the many years in business in senior leadership positions he offers a valuable level of experience and wisdom to decisions and direction into the organization.

Is a team person and believes in the power of a well-directed and motivated team to achieve an organizations goal.

Personal Profile

Strategic and forward thinker of the belief that all actions should lead to positive outcomes backed up with reliable data and should have a notable impact.In this regard he is passionate about making an impact on the environment, with positive outcomes benefitting people and nature through sustainable actions and activities in communities.

Positive believer in his country committed to helping resolve problems and improve the lives of others particularly in the field of job creation, food security and environmental protection.

Loves the outdoors, nature and writing. Keen sportsman.

MARCIA MAHLALELA

I am an accomplished executive with more than 15 years of management experience from Junior to Group Executive levels, in broadcasting and media that spans from strategy, content production, acquisitions, rights sales & projects management. It includes working for blue chip and global companies, Multichoice, the South African National Broadcaster (SABC), FIFA TV and Octagon Sports Marketing Agency.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Psychology; a management certification from Harvard Business School, as well as the a telecommunications, policy regulation and management from Wits Business School.

As of November 2018, I started my own company – Ascendants Media Group – to pursue game changing ideas and projects to delivering an unencumbered, inspiring and universal entertainment experiences.

Non-Executive Director: Ms. Mashila Matlala

Mashila is a highly accomplished Executive Business leader who has served across the ICT industry and is skilled in leading strategic marketing functions. Mashila showcases expertise in planning, developing, and executing operations with a daily mission to constantly nurture relationships of strategic, consultative, analytical, planning, and Business Development value.

She is an effective negotiator with persuasive presentation skills, able to build solid relationships with key stakeholders and identify areas of process improvement.

• Mashila is an Account manager for key accounts such as SABC, Sentech and ICASA in Government
• Chairperson of the Finance, Capital investment and Procurement Committee (FCIP) at PRASA,
• Chairperson of PRD Committee at National Development Agency,
• Chairperson of Chemical Industry Education & Training Authority (Chieta)

In August 2021, she became a Non-Executive Board Member of the Green Development Foundation.

Victor Nesengani

Victor Nesengani is an experienced horticulturist with expertise in business. Having held executive leadership roles, Victor offers a wealth of knowledge in Business Management & the Agricultural industry.

Victor offers the following experience:

  • Chief horticulturist Kempton Park Municipality
  • Director at Department of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management – Ekurhuleni.
  • Acting HOD at the Department of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management – Ekurhuleni.

Victor has had a hand in building entities such as the Department of Public Works, SANBI and Top Tur.

On August 21st 2021, he was appointed as a non-executive board member for the Green Development Foundation.

Chairperson: Mr. Dali Tambo

Dali Tambo is the son of the Oliver (and Adelaide) Tambo- a well-known South African anti-apartheid politician who served as President of the African National Congress from 1967 to 1991.

Dali is a businessman, activist, film and television director and has worked in film and television in the United Kingdom on productions such as Richard Attenborough’s ‘Cry Freedom’, as well as the BBC Documentary, ‘Nelson Mandela, In His own Words’, amongst others.

Dali has a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science from the University of Paris. He is also the founder of ‘Artists Against Apartheid’, an international alliance of artists committed to freedom, equal rights, justice, and equality.

Dali was appointed as GDF’s Chairperson to the Board in August 2021 and is committed to leading GDF into the next growth phase of the organisation. Dali is passionate about GDF’s programs and is enthusiastic about GDF’s potential to make meaning impact in the communities around South Africa.