Youth Citizens Action Programme – Powered by Empowervate

The Team

Our team consists of a wide variety of expertise offering guidance and support on different levels and we would love to introduce them to you.

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Amanda Blankfield-Koseff – Trustee, Founder & CEO

Amanda  holds a Bachelor of Business Communication from Bond University (Australia) and Honours in Communication Science from UNISA.

She has been in marketing, sales, journalism and has worked at a large South African NPO, Afrika Tikkun, before Founding and becoming CEO of Empowervate Trust in 2013.

Amanda is one the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans and is an Obama Leader: Africa. She is also an accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Her passion is developing the potential of young people.

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Pamela Hendriks – Trustee

Pamela is an accredited facilitator and assessor. She has been in the field of Child and Youth Care for over 25 years.

She is presently working for the City Of Joburg monitoring and Evaluating ECD sites for compliance and conducting necessary in-house training for these sites.

Her passion is making sure she is making a difference in the lives of young people through Empowervate Trust and an NGO known as Women Paying It Forward and Soapbox.

Her favourite quote is: “I am because we are”

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Muhamed Arshaad Moosa – Trustee

Arshaad has a Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting and Auditing from UNISA.

He is currently an independent financial consultant, having worked at Kiarah Chemicals CC as Financial, Human Resources and Employment Equity Manager, NPO Afrika Tikkun as Business Controller (Financial and Operational) and at WITS University – Origins Centre at a financial officer.

Arshaad is passionate about youth development as he has three young children and he sees how important this work is for the next generation.

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Liezel Pheiffer Blignaut

Liezel holds Master of Commerce degree (HR, Organisational Development, Organisational Psychology), and is a registered Master HR Practitioner with the South African Board of People Practices and a Member of the Institute of Directors in South Africa. 

She has 31 years extensive experience across numerous functions, companies, countries, and most industries (including 10 years working in listed companies).

Liezel is the Founder & CEO of HCBsolutions (Human Capital Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd) – a professional services company providing business and people solutions focused on development, improvement and growth – since 2001. Liezel is also a Chairman of a Board of Directors and a Trustee of unrelated entities, and previously served on a number of professional Advisory Boards (including the Department of HRM, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria and the HR Think Tank) and a number of professional committees.

As a mother and someone who continues to engage with youth entering the world of work and leaders in workplaces, Liezel believes it is essential to focus on developing the youth to empower them to make a positive contribution to their societies, our planet, the future world of work and our economy.

Kamohelo Kode

Kamohelo joined the nonexec board in 2023. He joined YCAP in 2014 as a Support Team Ambassador because he believed in its vision to shape and mould the future leaders of this country and as a product of the programme himself, he has no doubt that the programme will continue to have a major impact in helping creating a society of responsible and self-driven citizens. By being part of YCAP, he says “I believe I’ve become part of a life changing movement bigger than myself”.

Kamohelo works at the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa as an HR Practitioner responsible for Industrial Relations and Employee Wellbeing. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Macebo Media and on the Ethics Committee of the South African Board for People Practices.

Previously, Kamohelo was on the Human Resources (HR) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Graduate Programme at Zimmer Biomet South Africa (Pty) Ltd with his background in theoretical Human Resources and Industrial Psychology, and 8 years voluntary work experience as a YCAP Support Team member. His passion is in workplace relations and working with different individuals and teams to promote a healthy and progressive working environment as well as influencing the HR field and the labour space positively. He has a Bachelor of Social Sciences (majoring in Psychology and Industrial Psychology) degree from the University of the Free State (UFS).

Lisema Matsietsi

Lisema brings nearly two decades of incisive experience in the banking sector, crystallizing an impeccable record as a certified professional non-executive director and currently illuminating the industry as a Founder and Managing Director in Being An Analyst an organisation that specialises in Analyst Training & Development, IT Strategy, and Financial Reporting Consultancy. Rooted in a profound background that intertwines sales operations, financial analysis, and strategic insight, Lisema has curated and optimized strategy development and execution through pioneering intelligent financial reporting his academic prowess, underscored by a Master’s in Development Finance from the University of Cape Town and enhanced by educational journeys through three esteemed business schools (UCT GSB, Henley, and GIBS), crafts a robust foundation for his exceptional business acumen and positions him as an indomitable force in strategy and analytics.

Arno Jansen van Vuuren

Arno brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the insurance and financial services sector to his role as non-executive board member of Empowervate. With a background deeply rooted in actuarial science, Arno has held significant positions in industry leading organizations such as Old Mutual and OUTsurance. He is currently the Chief Operations & Technology Officer at Futurewise Education, an Insurtech startup focussing on access to Education. His extensive experience in finance, product development, system design, distribution, marketing, and strategy has equipped him with a unique perspective on the local business landscape. Arno’s commitment to social development and inclusion aligns perfectly with Empowervate’s mission of youth advocacy. Through his strategic insights and leadership skills, Arno aims to drive positive change and deliver better outcomes for all stakeholders. His track record of operational excellence and adherence to regulatory standards make him a valuable addition to the Empowervate team.

Janey Josie

Janey is an Executive Development Coach and Personal Wellbeing Specialist. She graduated with a Social Science Honors degree, and is a trained clinical therapist including trauma debriefing and counselling. Her qualifications include a BA Social Science degree including Industrial Psychology and Social Work, various management courses, an Employee Assistance Program (with distinction) and a post- graduate qualification in Education (cum laude). She currently serves as a director for a BB-BEE company, Wellness Matrix. 

Janey has been involved in leadership development, corporate wellbeing and educational activities for over 20 years. She also manages executives at Health Impact (Gauteng). Her leadership development experience for local and global clients is extensive, including Diversity, Inclusivity and Transformation, Resilience Building, Stress Management, Conflict Management, Emotional Intelligence, Navigating the politics of an organization and Effective Communication. Janey has a good grasp of the King Code of Ethics. 

She has trained managers at huge corporates including the Shoprite Group, Board of Health Care Funders, the Government Technical Advisory Centre, South African Bureau of Standards, Special Investigating Unit (SIU), Executive Development at Stellenbosch Business School, Sanlam and Standard Chartered Bank etc. 

By incorporating new trends (including AI), and global best practice she influences individuals to maximize their potential and work towards a high-achieving corporate culture. 

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Pumza Mthethwa

Pumza holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Economics) from the University of Cape Town and Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.

With over 20 years’ experience in brand marketing, Pumza has deftly merged her traditional marketing expertise with digital marketing skills into Brandties Marketing Agency. The years spent in various multi-nationals and local organizations exposed her to innovation, strategy development and growing brands.

Throughout her career she has led and managed product introductions, brand revamps, market expansion/ business growth initiatives that extends into Southern African markets.

She is passionate about digital innovation that the world is currently undergoing and has managed to merge her traditional marketing experience with the latest 4IR marketing through continuous learning and application in various campaigns.

She believes strongly in Women and Youth empowerment and she conducts marketing/digital marketing training and workshop for Youth and Women-owned businesses.

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Sylvia Mamorare

Sylvia’s qualifications includeExecutive leadership (Corporate Leadership Council London), Diploma in project management, Hons BCom Business Management, Marketing and Related Research Strategies (UNISA), Human resource development, BCom Business Administration and Industrial Psychology (University of the North Limpopo).

She is an astute and results driven business executive, Experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Energy Industry. A seasoned HR Specialist with more than 10 years’ experience in Executive / Senior Management level with strong focus on Operation Management, Strategic Partnership, HR Consulting, Product Marketing and Learning & Development. A professional with strong focus on strategic Human Capital management and knowledge of wider business acumen.

She has almost ten years’ exposure in Non-Executive Director Roles with comprehension of corporate business requirements and the ability to offer sound advice during the critical times of major change in the business, and to lead the implementation of corporate and business strategy. She is the director and Chairperson of Finance & Risk Committee: Institute of Personnel Management

Ketan Bhoola

Ketan has over 25 years of leadership, industry and professional services experience within the Built Environment providing governance, development and financial advisory services across Africa, Middle East, and South Africa. Armed with a Bachelor in Architecture and a Bachelor in Architecture Studies from the University of Witwatersrand, he embarked on his path, leading several successful Teams that have left an indelible mark on the industry.

Ketan’s spirit is matched only by his dedication to social responsibility. He actively engages in initiatives aimed at uplifting underprivileged communities and fostering sustainable development. Whether through mentorship programs, philanthropic endeavors, or advocacy work, Ketan is a driving force for positive change.

As part of his professional endeavors, Ketan is currently the Head of Development for KFC Africa and is known for his unwavering integrity, strong leadership, and collaborative approach. He thrives in environments that demand creativity, adaptability, and strategic thinking, consistently demonstrating his ability to turn challenges into opportunities for growth.

Dr Lawrence Bbosa

Lawrence has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and an MBA specialising in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the Graduate School of Business.

He is the Executive Manager of the Mineral Processing Division at Mintek (South Africa). He has worked in mining for close to 20 years, mainly as a researcher and consultant on industry funded projects and campaigns for mining companies worldwide.

In his prior role, Lawrence was a Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. He came to have a deep appreciation for the importance of a firm foundation in the teaching and development of the youth as being one of the key drivers for their future success. Lawrence firmly believes that the ideal mechanism for sustainable industrial growth in Africa is to encourage and enable African entrepreneurs to leverage the power of emerging technologies in industries including small scale manufacturing and mining.

With his passion for practical education supplemented by entrepreneurial endeavour, Lawrence joined the YCAP board in 2024 to assist with developing its growth strategy and identifying funding opportunities that align with its business model. He has a great degree of resonance with YCAP’s intended impact of empowering children through education and playing a part in the transformation and social cohesion of the country.

Mase Gaeganelwe is a Certified Director (IoDSA Cert. Dir. ) and also holds a Master’s degree in Informatics from the University of Pretoria. 

Mase has enjoyed over 25 years of information and communications technology experience, having worked in management and executive positions at various companies including SASOL, Edcon, SkX Protiviti and SAFCOL. A mother of two young adults, she is passionate about overseeing and providing guidance on strategies and initiatives that will uplift and empower the future generation of leaders. 

Yolande van Biljon holds an MCom Taxation; BCom (Hons) (University of Pretoria); BCompt (Hons) (University of South Africa); BCom Accounting (Rand Afrikaans University); CA(SA).

Yolande is the Chief Financial Officer of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. She gained in-depth and broad experience in Finance Departments of small, medium and larger companies she served in previous years. Her career, which spans more than 25 years, depicts her skills and contribution to transformation, turnaround and growth strategies and implementation thereof. In 2014, Ms van Biljon was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of the Road Accident Fund, where she contributed to the successful turnaround of the organisation.

Ms van Biljon’s career also includes the seven years she spent in strategic positions at Denel Dynamics, a division of Denel SOC Ltd. She joined this company as Manager: Finance Accounting in 2007, before being appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2008. As a member of the executive team, in seven years she contributed to the transformation of Denel Dynamics from an organisation that was faced with insurmountable sustainability challenges to being able to tick off all indicators of medium to long-term sustainability including, among others, industry acceptable financial results, strong internal controls, exceptional client relations and a healthy order book. Following the completion of her articles, she had a brief stint at a Private Investment Bank in London.

Elrinda Pretorius

Elrinda holds a degree in Biblical Counselling and Psychology and an Honours degree in Theology.

She was is teacher, a consultant and is a mompreneur with a great fondness for the underdog. She believes education is the way to change our future and through empowerment we can supply the tools.

Her passion lies with children and youth and she loves to manage all the wheels behind the scenes.

She believes in individuality and to embrace what makes each of us different.

Mbalenhle Mdhluli started supporting Empowervate in 2016 after she attended thee YCAP annual National Championships as she was working at Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation who were funders for 10 years from the creation of YCAP. The event inspired her to get involved in empowering the learners, who are the future of South Africa, in her personal capacity. 

She says, “Initially I joined to impact the learners and over the years the students have impacted me more than I could have imagined. They have poured into my soul and encouraged me to be the best version of myself. I support this organisation because they are  solution oriented  and are taking action in making our country a better place.”

Mbuyiselo Vilakazi is a social entrepreneur, published author of Primed Up-a Survival Guide of Starting a new life at a Tertiary institution. Mbuyiselo has a Masters in Intellectual Property from UCT (2022) and he completed his LLB at UKZN. He is also a digital content creator. A young man from the villages who had made it against all odds. He is the Founder of EnableSA a non profit company that seeks to help young people maximise their potential. He has been a YCAP support team member for 10 years.

Bokang Montjane-TshabalalaCatherine Hill Gugu Motsei Jennifer Charlton Judy Moritz
Julius MojapeloKatie AndrewsKudzai ShokoMbalenhle MdhluliNkosinathi Mahlangu
Pili Twala TauRumwell MabundzaSarie HomanWandile CindiXolani Sampies

Thabang Monyeki is from the North West province. He joined the YCAP Support Team after he experienced how life-changing it was when he was a YCAP participant in 2016, and wanted to mentor, nourish and uplift the next generation of YCAP participants. He has a Diploma in Management, is currently studying a PGCE and also the Chairperson of the Rock of Hope Foundation. He says YCAP helped him change from being an introvert who didn’t like to participate in any extracurricular activities to becoming a sociable and outgoing person learning to engage with as many vast and diverse people as possible. He says “Being part of YCAP-EMPOWERVATE is giving me the privilege of helping individuals who are also in need.” In May 2023, Thabang was nominated to be co-manager of the support team.

Rose B. Moerane is the holder of B.Ed Honors in education Policy and Management from University of Pretoria. She is a teacher by Profession. She is also an ambassador for GDE content platform. Rose is a Pastor and recording artist. She is the Chairperson of High Five Mentorship Programme. She joined YCAP as a teacher mentor in 2019 and then became a support team co-manager in May 2023.

Shadi Emmelda Matjila is a young woman originally from the Limpopo province, currently residing in Gauteng. She first participated in the YCAP program in Grade 10 (2018), making it to the National rounds with her team and coming out 4th place overall. She continued her YCAP journey by becoming a learner Mentor for her school’s YCAP Team in 2019 and later joining the national support team in 2021.

Shadi joined the support team because she wanted to continue being a mentor and help learners on their journey to become active citizens, and because “I saw how much of an impact YCAP had on my school and community that I wanted to give back.”

She continues, “As a young woman who has seen and experienced hardship through poverty, it is truly inspiring and motivating to be part of a program that teaches you to create something out of the little that one has, that teaches you how to work with and for people, and ultimately that teaches you to be an active Citizen.”

She has taken part in the Future Africa Ambassadors program. She is currently a volunteer writer for Rights for Education: South African chapter, and she is a law student at Boston City Campus in Pretoria.

Support Team Members
Support Team Provincial Managers

Rifumo Zitha is our Gauteng Provincial Support Team Manager and Mpumalanga Deputy Support Team Manager. She is studying towards a BCom in Accounting student at the University of Johannesburg. She has been passionate about YCAP since 2019, where she joined as a participant until she became a support team in 2023. She is now a provincial manager for the Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces. The reason why she joined YCAP was to change the situation in her community.

Kamogelo Moloto is our North West Provincial Support Team Manager. Kamogelo is originally from Rustenburg, North West Province but is studying in Bloemfontein, Free State province. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting at the University of Free State. She is also studying entrepreneurship with the Girlpreneur Africa Program. She is a poet and has won multiple poetry awards. She is the founder and CEO of a Poetry club known as POESY CLONE. She is a nominee at DearSA for Young Leaders Awards. Kamogelo has been working on completing her poetry book for publication. She is a very eager person, she loves engaging in things that challenge her and she is always eager to learn and adapt to the developments and improvements that occur in her life. YCAP has been part of her life for 6 years and she says “I am not the same person I was 6 years ago. I joined YCAP when I was in grade 9  and ever since then, I have been developing every single year.”

Basetsana Sheane is the Support Team Provincial Manager for the Free State province. She is a student at the University of the Free State pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree. Because of her love for literature and storytelling, she is a certified Nal’ibali literacy activist and the founder of Tsebo Ke Lesedi community reading club – which she founded after using the critical thinking and soft skills she learned from YCAP. She is a YCAP alumna who was an active participant of YCAP from 2017 when she was in grade 8 at Taiwe Secondary school until 2019 when she was in grade 10. She says, “I am passionate about helping young people discover the light that they’re all born with and assisting them to find their voice. I am grateful to be a YCAP team member because this programme has moulded me into becoming the remarkable young woman and an active change agent that I am today.”

Keatlegile Immaculate Mthimunye is the Gauteng Provincial Support Team Manager. She is a Bcom Accounting granduand from the University of witwatersrand

She is a trainee Auditor at Auditor General South Africa. Keatlegile participated in YCAP in 2016 at MH BALOYI SECONDARY.  She became a support team member in 2023 “after realising how much impact the program had on me and I can help pass those that come after me.”

In 2019 she won the Tshwane West education district values in Education Ambassador award.

Support Team Members

Thabo Ntseki resides in Botshabelo in the Free State province. He studied BEd specialising in IT and mathematics at CUT in Bloemfontein, and completed a diploma in Accountancy at CPUT in Cape Town. He is currently studying for a diploma in Marketing at TIT. He is a YCAP alumnus and joined as a YCAP Support team member in 2014. He recently started working at Capitec Bank as BBC since December 2022.

Nolwethu Buthelezi joined YCAP in 2022 as an ambassador because she believed that she can make an impact in her community and in the next generation for opening opportunities for them where they can learn different set of skills and be able to work with others despite the challenges. She also wanted to empower herself by working with other people because she’s driven. She is currently doing her Diploma in Marketing at Mangosuthu university of Technology , second year. She is a member at Enactus MUT & Enactus Za. She is also a Peer helper working with student counselling unit at her university. She likes working with people and bringing about change in the community.

Kamogelo Moloto is currently studying B.Com in Accounting at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein campus. She won the Local Arts and Media Awards in 2021 as the best poet, and the National mathematics week 3rd best poet . She was the regional best chess player in 2018 and 2019. She was the junior station commander of Mogwase Police station, North West, in 2018. She is still working on her own poetry book. She joined the Support Team because she says she “loves helping people and believes that the world would be a better place if it had more helping hands. People need to know that they are not alone in this journey of life, yes they might face the challenges alone but during that moment we will be outside the court hyping them up and giving them the support and energy they need.”

Lesedi Masela is a candidate in a bachelor’s degree in music at the University of the Witwatersrand and is a candidate in a Diploma in principles of vocal teaching with Trinity College London. He won the cultural boy of the year award in 2022. He invented a mathematics quiz board game which is used to teach nature of roots in a fun and enjoyable way, he further presented a wind power plan project to two ministers, namely Ms A. Motsega and Dr E. Ndlovu and the project was featured on
the GDE twitter page. He is the HOD for languages at BSTS and is passionate about literature and teaching young people English. Lesedi participated in YCAP when he was in primary and secondary school in Gauteng. He joined the Support Team in 2023 because he says, “I am driven to empower young minds and to shape the future in the country as early as yesterday”. His vim and vigour motivates him to work the extra mile to make South Africa a better place not only for the future generation but for all who live in it now united in our diversity.

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