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Management Team

Leán Terblanche - Director
Leán Terblanche has been involved in the non-profit sector since 2008, with areas of expertise in community capacity development, programme design, fundraising and public private partnerships. She obtained her BA Humanities as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management at the University of Stellenbosch. She ran the Football Foundation of South Africa from its inception in 2008 until 2014 when the organisation merged with the Grootbos Foundation. She has worked with and serves on the board of a number of local and international charities. Her projects have received several nominations and awards in the development sector. 

Julie Cheetham - Director
Julie Cheetham joined the Grootbos Foundation in 2014 after more than 15 years in the corporate world. She holds a B.Com in Economics from Port Elizabeth University (NMMU), and a Six Sigma Black Belt. She has worked across financial services, consulting and manufacturing sectors, with companies such as Standard Bank, Distell, and National Australia Bank. Julie has developed key expertise in strategic business development and programme leadership. Her passion for community development and empowerment of women led her to initiate the award-winning NAB corporate finance community programme in 2009. She recently returned home to South Africa where she joined the Grootbos Foundation team and is able to spend more time with her two sons.

Lily Upton - Project Manager
Lily Upton has been with the Grootbos Foundation since October 2010 and has been an active force in the Dibanisa Environmental Education Programme. She obtained her National Diploma in Landscape Technology, a B.Tech in Environment Management and has filled several roles in environmental consulting and landscape architecture in Hermanus and Cape Town. She has extensive knowledge of environmental conservation and currently also serves as Secretary for the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.


Joan de Villiers - Finance Manager
Joan De Villiers has been a part of the Grootbos Foundation since 2004 and has managed all finance and HR related duties for the Football Foundation since its establishment in 2008. She has over 25 years of experience in both private and public sector finance around the Stellenbosch and Somerset West regions. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and grandson.



Karin Blumer - Fundraising Manager
Karin Blumer, Fundraising manager at Grootbos Foundation, has been active in the field since 2005. Her first stint was at Bergzicht Training centre in Stellenbosch, where after two years, she was headhunted in 2007 to work at NICRO, the National Institute for Crime prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders in Cape Town. After a 4 year period as Communications Manager there, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra invited her to apply for the Fundraising & Corporate Executive position. The highlight of her time at the CPO was the new event organised by her, ie the Nederburg New Year’s Eve concert on the 31st December – ever since it has become an annual institution not to be missed. Her biggest thrill in this job is “when THAT e-mail or phone call comes to say that funding has been granted! On a personal level she is the proud mother of five children and enjoys music, art and literature of all kinds. She dabbles in painting, loves gardening and despises traffic jams. Her previous career was based in the radio industry where she worked at several radio stations as presenter, newscaster, journalist and voice artist.


Simone Davel - Project Manager
Simone Davel is a passionate conservationist who joined the Foundation team in July of 2014. She studied Nature Conservation at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology whilst gaining practical work experience at the City of Cape Town’s Blaauwberg Nature Reserve. After graduation Simone worked for an Environmental Consulting Company where she managed the critically endangered Cape Flats Sand Fynbos of the City of Cape Town’s Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve. She currently co-ordinates and facilitates the Food for Sport, Dibanisa, Careers Employability and Enterprise Development Programmes, and also assists with environmental inputs at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Simone’s other interests include modern dancing, arts and crafts, cycling, walking and spending time with her family.

Brett Edwards - Project Manager
Brett Edwards is from Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal, where he matriculated from St Charles College and obtained a B.Sc. degree in Geology/ Hydrology at the University of Natal. Brett went on to work in mainly managerial roles, especially in the construction industry, until finding his passion in 1999 for everything ‘green’ when he became the Propagation and Wholesale Manager of a commercial nursery in Cape Town. He then spent 5 years in the United Kingdom working as a gardener for an elite list of clientele in London, which won him numerous awards. Brett then returned to South Africa and joined the Grootbos Foundation in April of 2014. He currently heads up special projects for the Foundation. This entails research and the development of new projects, food security initiatives, and also managing environmental inputs for the Grootbos Nature Reserve.


Johan Strydom - Farm Manager
After growing up in Cape Town and serving in the military, Johan studied at Cape Technikon, where he earned his diploma in Horticulture in 1990. He then worked for various nurseries and landscaping companies around Cape Town before moving to Gansbaai. Johan joined Grootbos in 2004 and was put in charge of setting up nurseries for the Foundation’s Green Futures programme. He then managed the Overberg Fynbos and Tree nursery for Sean Privett, and in 2009 joined the Siyakhula ‘Growing the Future’ agriculture programme. In his current position as Farm Manager for the Grootbos Foundation’s Siyakhula organic farm, Johan is responsible for supplying Grootbos kitchens with freshly grown organic vegetables, herbs, eggs and honey. He also ensures that the programme’s initiatives are profitable for the Foundation. Johan loves what he does and feels very lucky to do for his job what other people do as a hobby.

Zokhanyo Bikani - Micro Herbs Manager
Currently residing in Stanford, Zokhanyo originally came from the Eastern Cape. She passed matric in 2009 and is currently enrolled at the University of South Africa (Unisa), where she is studying to become a project facilitator. Zokhanyo joined Siyakhula’s ‘Growing the Future’ project as an agriculture student in 2011 and spent a year learning about organic vegetables, beekeeping, cultivating herbs, life skills, computer skills, and making compost. In 2012, she was promoted to be a student mentor for new students and taught them everything she had learned. Zokhanyo now works in tunnels planting, transplanting vegetables in bags, boxes and sowing seeds in trays, which the Grootbos lodges then use to make salads. Grootbos is very special to her because it provides her financial security and money for school, and constantly feeds her with new information, skills and experience.

Asanda Masela - Vegetables & Chickens Manager
Asanda was born on 1987 in the small town of Tsomo, located in the Eastern Cape. After moving to the Western Cape in search of opportunities for better education, Asanda matriculated in 2006 and is still looking to go further with her studies. She joined our ‘Growing the Future’ project in 2012 as a student, where she learned about food production, beekeeping, life and computer skills, how to make compost.  In 2013 Asanda became an employee at Siyakhula organic farm to tend for the vegetables and chickens. Grootbos is very special to her because it gave her the opportunity to learn about different types of vegetables and how eating these foods are important for maintaining a healthy diet.

Green Futures

Susan Lochner - Head of Green Futures
Born in Namibia and raised in South Africa, Susan has been with the Grootbos Foundation for over 11 years. Touting a long list of educational experience, she earned her Teacher’s Diploma for Junior Primary in 1982, her Nature Conservation Certificate in 2003, a Higher Certificate in Adult Basic Education and Training in 2009, and her FGASA Level-1 Nature Guide certification in 2011. Before becoming the Head of Green Futures at the Grootbos Foundation, a position she has held since May of 2003, Susan was a teacher at the primary schools in Humansdorp and Gansbaai, and worked as a Horse Guide at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve for three years.

Sharlene de Villiers - Nursery & Horticulture Manager
Sharlene de Villiers studied Horticulture at the Cape Town Technicon. She worked for Stodels Nurseries for 7 years and moved to Gansbaai in 2000 with her husband. Sharlene started working for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in September 2000 as a receptionist, and in 2004 took up the position of Nursery Manager at Green Futures. She teaches the students about plant identification, sowing seeds, caring for seedlings, watering, fertilizers, soil types, pruning, pests and diseases and many more. According to Sharlene, the best part of her job is witnessing the development of her students as they transform from uninformed citizens to skilled professionals. 

Sharlene has a daughter, Marissa, and loves to read, go to the beach and camp in her spare time.

Cilena Danisa - Nursery Supervisor
Nompikiso Celina Danisa grew up in the Eastern Cape where she matriculated. She completed her one-year learnership at the Foundation’s Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College. Before Celina came to Green Futures she was working as a sales lady at the spaza shop in the Eastern Cape. Prior to Green Futures, Cilena worked in a spaza shop and as a cleaner in a restaurant. In August 2006 Celina was employed by Green Futures as a nursery assistant and in 2008 she became a nursery supervisor. Her role at the foundation is to manage the nursery, staff and to mentor the students during practicals. Celina feels that the Foundation has provided her with so many invaluable benefits, such as education, job opportunities and especially the chance to travel to England for the Eden Project. Celina likes being independent and going to church. 

Sicelo Fundakubi - Nursery Assistant
Sicelo was born and raised in the Eastern Cape and began working for a cleaning company in Johannesburg. In January of 2007, he moved to the Western Cape and joined the Green Futures programme as student. After graduation he was employed by Green Futures, and today Sicelo is responsible for planting, transplanting and watering various trees and plants. He is very thankful for his job at the Grootbos Foundation because it allows him to provide for his family and is extremely proud of the work that he does here.


Viola Siyotywa - Green Futures Facilitator
Viola was born in the Eastern Cape, where she attended school and matriculated. She came to Gansbaai in search for a job and worked for a Shark Diving company as a waitress, working closely with guests. But Viola has always wanted to further her career and joined Green Futures as a horticulture student. She was a shining example of determination and focus as she continued to study after completing her one year Horticulture training, intent to become a facilitator to help others. In 2012, she earned her Higher Diploma in Adult Basic Education and Training in the University of South Africa. Now Viola works for the Grootbos Foundation as a Life Skills Trainer, a position she has held since 2008. The Foundation is special to Viola because it has given her the skills needs to succeed in the future and has prepared her to face the challenges that she meets. Thanks to Grootbos, “I now know who I am”. She likes sharing ideas, reading and being honest with herself.

Football Foundation

Natasha Bredenkamp - Project Manager
Natasha Bredekamp joined the Football Foundation team in June 2012 to coordinate all event programmes and manage organizational aspects of the team. She has a Diploma in Sports Management from the Exercise Teachers and Training Academy (ETA) and was also the national representative of the 2001 Commonwealth Championships for the under 21 Lifesaving Presidents Team. She has a passion for kids and a determination to make a difference towards the communities in which she works in - “if you give a child a chance, the child could make a change.” Natasha has a gorgeous one-year old daughter named Summer! 


Mziyanda Matiwane - Football Coach
As a former youth soccer player from our programme, Mziyanda Matiwane has experienced numerous opportunities for growth through the Foundation. Before joining the Football Foundation as the Soccer Coach, he was able to graduate with an accredited ETA certificate, hold the position as Junior Soccer Coach, and be one of thirty-five students across South Africa selected for the 2013 Laureus Youth Empowerment Programme. Mziyanda hopes to utilize his teachings by continuing to work with children through sport and education and to give back to the community the priceless skills and confidence that the Foundation has provided him. 

Shereen van der Merwe - Hockey Coach
After graduating from the Breaking Barriers training programme, Shereen van der Merwe joined the Football Foundation in 2012 as the Hockey Coach. She has actively contributed new and innovative ways in teaching hockey and attracting more participants towards the sport. Shereen spends her summers as a swimming instructor for young kids as she believes that all children need basic awareness and skills in water safety. 



Corrie Avenant - Athletics Coach
Before joining the Football Foundation in 2012 as the Athletics Coach, Corrie Avenant played for the South African professional rugby team. He has shown exceptional work in motivating and training children through weekly athletics sessions and through various sports programmes such as the “Umntana Phambili ” youth programme. Corrie and his wife were blessed with their first baby in 2014. 



Archie Jakuba - Hermanus Coach
After completing the 11th grade, Archie started working for the Arabella Hotel in Kleinmond as a kitchen cleaner and food preparation assistant. In 2013, he enrolled and participated in the ‘Breaking Barriers’ programme, implemented in partnership with eta college and Active Communities Network, which is a 6-month sports coaching and administration course. Archie then started working as a football coach for the Football Foundation in Hermanus, which is the position he holds today. Originally from Dimbaza in the Eastern Cape, Archie loves working with kids, playing sports, and aspires to travel throughout the world.