www.ecoafrica.co.za

Team

We are an integrated team of full-time staff and dedicated associates. Our team members and core associates are listed below. Full CVs are available upon request.

Dr Francois Odendaal

CEO EcoAfrica Group

Dr Francois Odendaal (PhD, FRGS) completed his doctorate in ecological studies in 1981 in Australia. He specialises in tourism development, integrated coastal areas management, protected areas development, heritage preservation and policy formulation processes. He has published numerous scientific articles, hundreds of technical reports, taught government officials and NGOs from more than twenty countries in environmental and development-related courses, and wrote several books.

Ms Umaymah Jattiem

Business Manager and Researcher

Ms Umaymah Jattiem holds a BSocSci degree in Environmental and Geographical Science, Sociology, and Gender Studies, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Umaymah’s areas of research experience includes conservation management and planning for protected areas, heritage and tourism development and management, disaster risk management, environmental assessments, local development and land reform, marine and coastal resources, and climate change. 

Ms Virginia Bokaba

Financial Manager

Ms Virginia Bokaba qualified as a Professional Accountant in 2015 after completing her South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) 3 years training contract with SizweNtsalubaGobodo Inc., an auditing and accounting firm. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Johannesburg and also obtained her NQF level 5 qualification in Economic and Financial Sciences. 

Ms Thamary Mukuya

Cultural Heritage and Tourism Consultant

Ms Thamary Mukuya holds a MA degree in Archaeology attained at the University of
Zimbabwe. Professionally, Thamary is a member of the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA). Thamary’s areas of research interest and fieldwork include the documentation of heritage properties, heritage marketing, conservation and preservation, presentation and interpretation, heritage and archaeo-tourism development. 

Ms Violet Njambi

Environmental Consultant

Ms Violet Njambi holds a Certificate Course in Environmental Journalism and Communication from Daystar University, a Certificate Course in Environmental Engineering (Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a Diploma in Environmental Science from Mombasa Polytechnic University College). She is based in Mombasa, Kenya and has research experience in marine and coastal tourism and management. 

Dr Edward Matenga

Associate, Heritage Specialist

Dr Edward Matenga holds a PhD in Archaeology and Heritage from the Department of African Archaeology & Ancient History at Uppsala University (Sweden). Professionally, Dr. Matenga is a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA). Edward has extensive experience in heritage. 

Ms Marinda le Roux

Associate, Environmental Assessment Practitioner

Ms Marinda le Roux has a Masters degree in Town and Regional Planning (MTRP) from the University of the Free State in South Africa, and is a registered Town and Regional Planner. She is also registered with the Interim Certification Board of Environmental Assessment Practitioners of South Africa (EAPSA). Marinda has extensive experience as an Environmental Assessment Practitioner.

Mr Jacques van der Merwe

Associate, Spatial Planning Specialist

Mr Jacques van der Merwe obtained a Bachelor Degree in Town and Regional Planning (Cum Laude) from the University of Pretoria in 1993, and a Bachelor Degree in Social Sciences (Psychology and Sociology) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly known as the University of Port Elizabeth) in 1985. Jacques has extensive experience in Spatial Planning including Town and Regional Planning as well as that for Protected Areas. 

Mrs Liana Jansen

Cultural Landscape Architect and Heritage Specialist

Mrs Liana Jansen PrLArch #20156 (SACLAP 2003), PHP (APHP 2015), MA Anthropology (Unisa 2009), BL (2000) is a registered professional Landscape Architect and an accredited Professional Heritage Practitioner with 15 years experience in the design, planning and conservation of landscapes.

Mr Fareed Chuttan

Associate, Heritage and Governance Specialist

Mr Fareed Chuttan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Administration from the University of Mauritius. He has had broad-based and intensive involvement in the heritage and government sectors in Mauritius that bring invaluable experience and insight. Over the years he has fulfilled various roles in Government, including as the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Arts and Culture.

Ms Wendy Lisson-Bayemi

Operations Officer and Office Manager

Ms Wendy Lissom-Bayemi obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Finance Management from University of the North in 1996. She also has a Certificate in Management Practice obtained from Rhodes University in 2003, which includes Organizational Behavior, Human Resources, Bookkeeping, Financial Management and Administration. She joined EcoAfrica in 2021 and is based at the Pretoria Office. She manages day-to-day Human Resources and provides operational support across the EcoAfrica Group. 

Mr Sipho Masimula

Driver and Logistics

Sipho Masimula, hailing from Mpumalanga, has worked for the EcoAfrica Group of Companies for more than 10 years. He is in charge of maintaining the EcoAfrica Properties. He is also a driver on field trips. In addition, Sipho provides logistical support as well as manage finances for fieldtrips.