National Executive Committee

The National Executive Committee (NEC) conducts the affairs of the IAIAsa affiliate on behalf of its members by steering the strategic direction of IAIAsa and forming a link to the international body of IAIA.

The NEC consists of at least eight nationally elected members: the President, the Past President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer, three office bearers;as well as the eight or nine Branch chairpersons, elected regionally. All National Executive Committee members are elected for two-year terms of office, which start on 1 October and end on 30 September two years later, while presidents-elect commit to a three year term of office.

The NEC meets annually, traditionally at the time of the IAIAsa National Conference, to elect a new President Elect (i.e. who starts his term 12 months later as President) and to plan for the coming year. In addition a NEC teleconference meeting is held every second month to discuss progress of tasks and any other matters requiring attention. The Plan set at the Strategic Planning (StratPlan) meeting is largely implemented at branch level, where most interaction occurs with the IAIAsa members. The current committee members and portfolios are as follows:

National Executive Committee 2019/2020

President: Sabelo Nkosi

Sabelo B Nkosi is a member of the International Association for Impact Assessment South Africa (IAIAsa) and is currently the serving in the National Executive Committee (NEC) as President. In the past he has served on the NEC as President–Elect and Treasurer and has also served in the KZN Branch Committee for several years.

Sabelo is also a Senior Environmentalist at eThekwini Municipality in the Biodiversity Impact Assessment Branch of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department. His work is mainly focused on private EIAs and various land use planning applications with the aim of protecting the Municipality’s biodiversity assets. He has been involved in a number of biodiversity offsets within the Municipality and has an interest in the implementation of biodiversity offsets, and is member of the Municipal Planning Tribunal. He is a grade 2 Environmental Management Inspector (EMI) and has a keen interest in environmental law.

Sabelo has a BSc Honours degree in Entomology, where he studied plant-animal interactions such as pollination systems and biological control, and a BSc degree in Botany and Entomology, both from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is registered professional ecologist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and is one of the founding members of the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa.

Lastly, Sabelo enjoys team sports, especially rugby, which has earned him some amateur colours and has won a number of trophies within the KZN Rugby Union structures. He also has taken up road running and enjoys travelling, music, photography and cooking, particularly for his wife and three children.


President Elect and Transformation: Abulele Adams

Abulele has been working as an environmental assessment practitioner at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) since January 2014. She holds a Master of Science in Geography from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. Her undergraduate degree was a BSc in Environmental Science with Honours in Geographic Information Systems. She also completed a year of courses in the Sustainability Economics and Management Masters programmes at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany.

Abulele has worked on the Strategic Infrastructure Projects including the National Wind & Solar PV Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Electricity Grid Infrastructure SEA as well as the Square Kilometre Array SEA which were commissioned by the national Department of Environmental Affairs.


Past President : Robyn Luyt

Robyn is currently the Deputy Director: Environmental Impact Management at Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land & Environmental Affairs. She obtained an MSc cum laude (Botany) from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions. She began her career in integrated environmental management in the private sector before moving to government, and has over 15 years experience in the field of IEM.


Treasurer: Tobile Bokwe 

Tobile Bokwe has been in the Intergrated Environmental Management (IEM) sector for over 15 years and he holds numerous skills and qualifications including a Master of Science Degree  in Environmental Management. Tobile has been a member of IAIAsa since 2005 and regularly particpates in IAIAsa conferences, inlcuding being a member of panel discussion at the IAIAsa 2017 conference in Goudini. 

Furthermore, Tobile has a Masters in Business Adminstration (MBA) and in his current role as Manager, he has enhanced his business skills. Therefore, based on Tobile’s experience, qualifications and undertstanding of the IEM sector in South Africa, Tobile would benefit IAIAsa should he be elected in the role of IAIAsa Treasurer.

Tobile is currently heading Eskom’s Risk and Sustainability’s Strategic Environmental Assessment/Environmental Impact Assessments Centre of Excellence (SEA/EIA CoE). He obtained an MSc (Environmental Management) from the University ofTranskei (now Walter Sisulu University) and is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions, since 2003. He has been a member of IAIAsa since 2005. 

Tobile began his professional career in environmental management in Umgeni Water, as a Graduate-In-Training, from where he later became an Environmental Scientist, involved in Environmental Impact Assessment, Catchment Management activities and integrated environmental management. 

He obtained a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, where he specialised in Strategic Management.

In the last more than 15 years, he has been executing EIA processes for the Eskom Business, and the Generation Division in particular. He gives strategic support to the greater Eskom Business on EIA-related matters. 

In recent years, Tobile has represented Eskom on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEAs) for the Electricity Grid Infrastructure (EGI) and Gas pipelines.


Secretary: Taryn Bigwood 

Taryn Bigwood has a Masters Degree in Geography focusing on Zoo-Geomorphology from the University of Pretoria and has a consultancy (Environmental Management Assistance PTY LTD) in Delmas since 2013.  Taryn has been exceptionally dedicated and passionate about the environment as she spends much of her free time in the veld, birding, hiking, visiting game reserves and diving.  Her career path has also displayed passion for the environment, as she has worked in environmental related fields for the Government (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, EMI Grade 2) and the private sectors for approximately 14 years, which has given her a comprehensive insight into all facets of Environmental work enabling her to assist companies and organizations to eliminate their environmental risks on any level by undertaking all environmental licensing (EIAs, WULA and WML) compliance monitoring, compliance auditing and environmental systems implementation and closure audits.   Taryn is a member of the IAIAsa (is on the branch committee for Mpumalanga, the Conference Operations Comitee and the secretary for the National Execrative Comity) Southern African Association of Geomorphologists (SAAG) and Landscape and Rehabilitations Society of South Africa (LaRSSA) and has presented a number of courses and presentations at a number of different organizations and companies to improve Environmental awareness and to further knowledge on the subjects she loves.    


CPD and Training: Dr Patrick Sithole


Dr Patrick Sithole has been a member of IAIAsa for over 10 years and served the organisation at various levels from provincial level to the National level. He holds a PhD (Environmental Sciences) and an MPhil in Environmental Law and Management. Patrick is also registered with SACNASP as a Professional Environmental & Chemical Scientist, and with DAFF as a Registered Pest Control Operator. He has over 20 years of experience in the Intergarted Environmental Management (IEM) sector in Southern Africa and he has done a lot of work in a number of countries across the African Continent. In the past 20 years, Patrick has worked on various infrastructure, development and strategic projects as an Environmental, ssocial and sustainability expert. He has also been involved in climate change, health, compensation on historical land claims and involuntary resettlement projects across Africa.


Branch Co-Ordinator: John Richardson

John graduated from the School of Applied Environmental Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, in 2007 with a BSc Honours degree in Geography and Environmental Management. During his postgraduate year he was involved in research within the academic fields of Natural Resource Management, Applied Environmental Geomorphology, Environmental Management, Advanced Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, specialising in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment and Geographical Information Systems. John received merit awards for excellence in the fields of Natural Resource Management and his Honours Research Project (“An Investigation into the use of Aerial Photography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Study Coastal Forest Loss along the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast between the Umdloti and Mhlali Rivers”). 
John has 9.5 years of professional experience in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment processes and has also worked in the capacity of GIS manager on several Strategic Environmental Planning projects which include Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Biodiversity Sector Plans, Environmental Management Frameworks and Strategic Environmental Assessments. John is currently employed in the capacity of Associate and Senior Environmental Consultant at JG Afrika (Pty) Ltd, specialising in the field of Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Impact Assessment processes. John is committed to promoting the IAIAsa Code of Conduct and skills development within the environmental management profession.


National Student Representative : Nqobile Lushozi

Nqobile Lushozi recently completed his MSc (Geoinformatics) at Stellenbosch University. His master’s research was funded by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) through their Studentship Programme. He holds an Hons (Environmental Sciences) obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the Pietermaritzburg campus where he began his involvement with IAIAsa in the year 2015. Before starting his MSc he was an intern at the South African Environmental Observation network (GFW node) under the DST/NRF (2016/17) Internship programme. His research interests are in the application of GIS and remote sensing techniques for water resource management. 


Branch Chairs

Eastern Cape Branch : Administered by the National Executive Committee

Free State Branch : Administered by the National Executive Committee 

KZN Branch Chair : Sandile Nkomonde

Sandile Nkomonde graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2010 with a postgraduate degree in Geography & Environmental Management. Sandile has been employed at JG Afrika since 2011 as an Environmental Consultant. His area of specialisation is in Community & Stakeholder Engagement and Public Participation Facilitation. Sandile Nkomonde has been a member of IAIAsa since 2011 in the KwaZulu-Natal branch. He has been involved in the Branch Executive Committee (BEC) since 2015 where he has served to date. Sandile’s core passion while serving in the BEC has been student development, where he continues to serve as a Mentor in the ISMP. Sandile was elected as the 2019/2020 KwaZulu-Natal Branch Chairperson.


Gauteng Branch Chair: Rethabile Mbokodi

Rethabile Mbokodi is Senior Advisor: Sustainability at Eskom. She has 16 years working experience in environmental management and overall sustainable development. Before joining Eskom, Rethabile was an Environmental Consultant managing a number of environmental projects. She is a registered Professional Natural Scientist with South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). Rethabile is also a Vice President-Education: Toastmasters International (Toastmasters International is a non –profit organization that teaches public speaking and; leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs).
Rethabile is passionate about teaching, training, facilitating and emceeing events.


Limpopo : Administered by the National Executive 

Mpumalanga Branch Chair: Phil Radford

Philip Radford, holds a BSc degree in Environmental Science from the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom (UK) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Protection from Salford University, UK. Philip has completed a variety of other courses in environmental management, waste management and pollution prevention.
Philip spent most of his career in the United Kingdom working for the Environment Agency as an Environment Officer dealing with environmental audits, compliance inspections and enforcement of illegal waste operations. He relocated to South Africa in 2009 to work as an Environmental Consultant in Nelspruit before joining Ecoleges in 2011. 
Philip carries out environmental monitoring and auditing (ECO and Auditor) and has prospects for developing an Integrated Waste Management Planning division within Ecoleges Environmental Consultants.
Philip is a member of the Honorary Rangers Lowveld Branch, IAIAsa and a member of the Wildlife Society of South Africa (WESSA). He is also in the process of registration with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.


North-West Branch Chair: Dr Claudine Roos 

Claudine commenced her studies in 2002 at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus (then the PU for CHE) and attained the degree BSc. Biological with cum laude in 2004.  In 2005 she enrolled for a Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences (Ecotoxicology), which focused on persistent organic pollutants in the water environment in the Vaal Triangle region – a Water Research Commission (WRC) project.  She completed the degree in 2006 and graduated with distinction in 2007, also at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus).  From 2007 to 2010 she studied a PhD in Environmental Sciences (Ecotoxicology) at the North-West University.  The study focused on persistent organic pollutants in major rivers and cities in South Africa.  The findings of her study was published in a WRC report titled “Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Water Environment”.  During her studies she represented the NWU at national and international conferences and published her work in peer-reviewed journals such as Chemosphere, Soil and Sediment Contamination, and Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, amongst others.

In 2010 she enrolled for an internship programme at the Centre for Environmental Management (CEM), North-West University.  In the same year she was appointed as a Junior Environmental Management at the CEM.  She was promoted to a Senior Environmental Manager in 2014, where her main functions included short course training and environmental-related consultation.  Her focus was mainly on waste management, hazardous substances management, integrated water resource management, ISO 14001-based environmental management systems, environmental auditing and environmental impact assessment (EIA).

She was the environmental assessment practitioner responsible for the application for waste management licences and supporting EIA processes for 15 landfill sites in the North-West Province, which formed part of the Presidential Outcome 10 project in 2014.

In 2014, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), as part of the Waste Roadmap Project, approached Universities throughout South Africa to facilitate the development of a post-graduate degree in Waste Management.  Claudine was one of the team members at the North-West University who was responsible for the development of a BSc. Honours Degree in Environmental Sciences, with specialisation in Waste Management.  The degree was offered for the first time in 2015 and in 2016 the first ten students graduated the degree.  She was also involved in the development and delivery of a Masters Degree in Environmental Management with specialization in Waste Management, which commenced in 2017.

Claudine started working as a Senior Lecturer at the School of Geo- and Spatial Sciences of the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) in June 2018, where she is responsible for teaching and supervision related to waste management, environmental management and hydrology.

She is a SAATCA-registered EMS lead auditor and a Professional Natural Scientist registered with SACNASP.  She is a member of the Institute for Waste Management of South Africa (IWMSA), the Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA), the Society of South African Geographers (SSAG) and the International Association for Impact Assessment of South Africa (IAIAsa).  She has contributed to these associations by attending workshops, presenting papers and contributing to conferences. 


Western Cape Chair : Melissa Groenink


Melissa is an environmental attorney, with over eight years’ experience in environmental and land use planning law. She holds a BSc (with distinction in Environmental Science) and a LLB (also with distinction) from Rhodes University. Melissa is a Senior Associate at Cullinan & Associates Inc. and a Consultant to EnAct International. She holds the Law and Policy portfolio on the Western Cape branch committee of IAIAsa and is now the Chair of the committee. 


IAIAsa Operations Manager: Sue George