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.

Our Trustees

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Amanda Blankfield-Koseff – Founder & CEO

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff 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 Hendriks 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

Muhamed Arshaad Moosa 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.

Our Non-Executive Board

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Liezel Pheiffer Blignaut

Liezel Pheiffer Blignaut holds a Master’s Degree in Commerce (Human Resources Management and Organisational Psychology), and is a member of the Institute of Directors in South Africa and a registered Master HR Professional with the South African Board of People Practices.

She is currently a member of the Advisory Boards of the University of Pretoria’s Department of Human Resource Management in the Faculty Economic and Management Sciences and the Institute of Futures Research and KR’s HR Think Tank.

Liezel is the founder and Executive Director of Human Capital Business Solutions – a company focused on providing innovative and impactful business and people solutions since 2001.

She has 28 years’ extensive cross-functional and cross-industry corporate and consulting experience in South Africa and the Middle East. Her experience includes strategy, organisational development, leadership and team development, change and transformation, diversity and inclusion, mentorship, coaching, career development, as well as business management, compliance, development and marketing.

Liezel’s passion is to make a difference and impact wherever she can and to experience different cultures.

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.

Merona Ledwaba

Merona Ledwaba holds a Bed. Hons degree in Education management, Further Diploma in Education management from the University of Pretoria, A Secondary Teachers Diploma, Assessor and Moderator certificate.

She was a teacher for 19 years. Appointed as a Deputy Director at the National Department of Basic Education since 2008 and retired in July 2022. Throughout the 33 years in the Basic Education sector, she has extensive knowledge of policy development, ELRC Collective Agreements. Training, presentation skills and report writing are her major strengths.

One of her major achievement as an employee at the DBE, she developed a Skills Development Guidelines for Employees in the Basic Education sector in collaboration with (ETDP SETA, Provincial Head Offices, relevant Labour Unions and Provincial Head office Skills Development Facilitators. She developed training material and other resources and trained office-based educators in all provinces on the implementation of ELRC Collective Agreements 3 & 4 of 2017.

Her desire and passion is to tap into the space of assisting under privileged schools and under qualified educators to be exposed to ICT basic programmes. Rope in relevant stakeholders that can assist in achieving goals as set out in the Education sector. The desire emanates from findings and recommendations of various monitoring reports in PEDs, districts and schools.

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Leon Langa

Leon Langa has a B Compt Hons and CIMA (management) qualification from UNISA.

He is the CEO of FITA Consultancy. He has worked as CFO at SKX, Director at Foodbank, head of finance at PSI (SFH). Leon has over 12 years of senior executive experience in management and leadership positions and has had extensive exposure serving on unlisted company boards, particularly with owner-managed teams and different Public Institutions such as Central Energy Fund (CEF). Gauteng Department of Treasury and Hospital Boards. He has served on Audit, Risk, and Compliance committees.

Leon is currently a Member of The Board and Chairperson of HR, Social and Ethics Committee of iSimangaliso. He has also been Chairperson of different Institutions in both Private entities and Public Entities such as CEF, Energy and Various Hospitals. He has been the Director of various companies and held senior roles at Investec Private Bank (PTA), BHP Billiton (Mpumalanga Mines), SKX Auditors, Foodbank SA, and PSI International (HSF).

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Lyle Malander

Lyle Malander is a qualified Chartered Accountant who completed his articles at a big 4 audit firm in 2012 and is a co-founding director of the Malander Group. His passion for making a difference is the reason he currently serves the co-chair of the South African FinBiz2030 committee, an initiative pioneered by Chartered Accountants Worldwide and One Young World, aimed at mobilising the finance and business community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In October 2015, he left corporate employment to form the Malander Group, a Group of which he currently serves as Executive Director. The Group consists of the following entities:

  • Malander Advisory, a Chartered Accounting and Financial Advisory firms who work with many large and listed entities within South Africa;
  • Malander Placements, a recruitment firm with a core focus on finance recruitment, as well as IT and Legal recruitment;
  • M-inent Solutions, a SMME focused accounting, recruitment and Digital marketing firm.

Lyle has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Malander Group, which has also expanded into the United Kingdom.

In 2018 Lyle was named the winner of the SAICA Top 35 under 35 competition and in 2019, he was named the Young Professional of the Year in the South African Professional Services awards.

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Lorraine Mekwa

Lorraine Mekwa’s qualifications include an MBA from GIBS, Post Graduate Diploma in Management and BSc in Mathematics and Physics from Wits University.

She has enjoyed a 15-year career in Financial Services in both London and Johannesburg. Her experience includes business development, equity derivatives sales, trading, investment consulting across traditional asset classes and private equity.

Lorraine’s key skills and achievements are:

  • Specialist product knowledge: Equity Derivatives, Equities, Global Markets, Private Equity
  • Managing institutional client relationships and general stakeholder management
  • Investment Consulting
  • People management, translating growth strategy into team action items Achievements
  • Growth of team budget by R10m in a mature market for the desk in 2018. Defending desk market share in 2019 in difficult trading conditions
  • 2nd place in 2017 Financial Mail awards for Equity Derivatives dealing/research
  • Awarded 3rd place for 2016 Financial Mail awards- Equity derivatives research

Awarded a South Africa’s Women Givers Awards in 2017 for community work – fundraising for tuition for University student

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Pumza Mthethwa

Pumza Mthethwa 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 Mamorare’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

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Tintswalo Sono

Tintswalo Sono is a Chemical Engineer with an MBA and certificates in Project Management (PMBOK), Corporate Governance, Sales and Marketing, Development and Implementation of ISO 18001, Understanding and implementation of ISO 9001, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and Agile Boot Camp using Scrum Framework.

With many years of experience in finance, oil and gas industries she is a highly capable team leader with the ability to drive system level change. She combines her deep industry knowledge with experience and data to guide the design and establishment of systems, support organisational change and drive operational efficiency using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and lean methodology.

She has a passion for mentoring staff, building relationships, and connecting the dots on big picture themes and issues in order to support holistic and comprehensive strategic planning and implementation. She is a social innovator with a specific focus on social concerns related to women and children and innovation for SMMEs. She revels in finding solutions to achieve operational excellence. She believes that people react and perform according to how they are treated.

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Rumbidzai Mashele (nee Tendaupenyu)

Rumbidzai Mashele, affectionately known as Askana, has eight qualifications, including a Financial Accounting degree from the University of Cape Town, a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University and a number of industry-relevant certifications from institutions such as Wharton. She is currently pursuing her Professional Director (SA) designation from the Directors Association.

Rumbidzai has built her career around project managing initiatives across the continent that acknowledges, support, celebrate, connect and empower African entrepreneurs. In the last 5 years, she has used her skills and experience to impact over 75 businesses across the continent, through operational strategy and sustainability consulting, as well as capacity building initiatives.

The fruits of her labour include being named one of the 2020 Forbes Africa top 30 under 30. As the Founder and Managing Director of Askana (Pty) Ltd she provides sustainability and impact advisory services for companies in a variety of industries. Currently, she serves as the project lead for her client – Project 58, in partnership with Nirox Sculpture Park. 58 is a R200 million sustainable eco-resort development in the Cradle of Humankind which focuses on art, agro-ecology, wellness and unity.

Though she is based in South Africa, she will find any excuse to travel and discover. She has built her career around project managing initiatives across the continent that acknowledge, support, celebrate, connect and empower African entrepreneurs.

Our Programme Managers

Elrinda Pretorius

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

She was is teacher, a consultant and is a momtrepreneur 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.

Gontse Matladi

Gontse Matladi has a passion for development and does this through youth mentoring , workshop facilitating, training and engaging with organizations involved in youth and community development , (Personal Skills/Entrepreneurship/ Business Skills and Enterprise development).

She holds a B. Comm Marketing Management Degree, MCIPS Corporate Award Advanced Procurement Practitioner and other short courses such as SETA accredited Facilitation Skills,  Life and Business Coaching foundational skills , Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Business Development training.

She has been a Youth Mentor , Facilitator , Enterprise Supplier Development Practitioner , Purpose Masters Alumni , an Event Coordinator amnogst other things.

Gontse loves people and is relatable. She likes to explore , travel, hike, read and laugh.

She believes in unlocking potential in herself and others and not having a blanket approach to life. God gave us different talents and gifts , let’s use them, we are all unique in our own ways .

Our Friends

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

Our Support Team Ambassadors

Support Team Managers

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 9 years.

Kamohelo Kode is currently the Human Resources (HR) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Intern Officer at Zimmer Biomet South Africa (Pty) Ltd with two years of practical experience in the HR field and 3 years of theoretical background in Human Resources and Industrial Psychology, and 7 years voluntary work experience as a YCAP Support Team member in total. 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), and presently continuing my studies at the same institution in Labour Law.

Support Team Members

Bonakele MthethwaBrilliant MahlanguBusisiwe ZumaDalson Masipa
Nomfundo MngadiLihle RadebeMarcelino PietersonNkosi Mbele
Shadi MatjilaNomnotho GumedeRoger MosweuSamkelisiwe Phungula
Simon MotshweniThabang MonyekiThabo Gift NtsekiThandazile Mpungose
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