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Experience at the helm

Three experienced directors are at the helm of the steering committee of the Siyakha initiative.

Jerry van Niekerk and Nigel Thatcher served as directors of large companies while Dr Phillip Parsons comes from an academic background.

Van Niekerk served as General Executive Manager of Old Mutual for a number of years until his retirement. During his career he was involved in human resource development, headed up the Old Mutual Group Schemes business and was a Director of Old Mutual Health Care. He was also a Founder and the Managing Trustee of the ILIMA Trust which, among other endeavours, supported the Old Mutual’s Masisizane Fund, an initiative similar to Hermanus Siyakha. Van Niekerk now runs a coaching and mentoring practice.

Thatcher started his career in brand and marketing management for a large multinational company. He then moved to the sales division, initially as a Regional Sales Manager then National Sales and Export Manager, then GM for Key Accounts. When the company was sold, Thatcher moved on and joined AC Nielsen, an international market research company, as their Retail Services Director before retiring from the corporate world.

Parsons comes from an academic background and was head of the Teaching Development Unit at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and involved in staff selection.

Phillip has played a key role in conceptualising the Siyakha initiative and is keen to see it forming a bridge between communities.

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