• Promoting excellence in public participation in Southern Africa


Meet Our Board

IAP2 SA relies on the passion and leadership of a board of volunteer directors elected annually by members. Our directors bring a diverse range of skills, talents and experience to grow the organisation into a powerful professional network. We are always looking for committed individuals to join this team. If you are interested to get involved, let us know.
Erika du Plessis

Erika is the Regional Service Line Lead for the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Unit at Aurecon South Africa. She has been involved in social and public participation processes for the past 19 years in various parts of the world, mostly in developing countries such as Ghana, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa. She has extensive experience in public participation, social impact assessments and dealing with sensitive stakeholders.

She builds trust relationships between companies and their stakeholders; conveys risk information; conducts public participation for environmental authorisation processes in mining, industry and other; conducts public sensitivity analyses pertaining to companies and projects (existing or proposed); and conducts corporate or community risk assessments as part of SHECQC assessments.

Erika manages communication and awareness creation campaigns to achieve clients’ goals while maintaining close contact with the needs of marginalised communities. She is experienced in building capacity of communities by way of posters, fact sheets, one-on-one discussions and site visits to similar projects.

Erika holds international certification from the International Association of Public Participation (USA), and is currently the Chairperson for the International Association for Public Participation (South Africa) (IAP2SA).

Christine Breet

Christine is a communication consultant with over 20 years of corporate communications experience, both on the agency and client side. She has a wealth of experience and a thorough understanding of what a business really needs from its communication function.

She specialises in the full spectrum of corporate communication aspects including internal and external communication, change management, project management and planning.

She is a social mobilisation practitioner (community development) and has excellent organisational and execution skills with great experience in marketing, public relations, media relations and advertising. She is a guest speaker, facilitator and lecturer for short courses.

She currently serves as Chairperson of the International Accredited Business Communications (IABC) for the African chapter and serves as the Secretariat for the IAP2SA.

She served on the Silver Quills (SA) and Blue Ribbon judging panel for the International Quills in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She obtained her Masters degree in Communication Management on the role of communication during change management.

Timothy Hart
Vice Chairperson

Tim is a social and development practitioner with over 40 years of experience. His areas of expertise include social and environmental policy and strategy, social assessment, social and development planning, resettlement planning, organisational assessment, stakeholder engagement, mediation and conflict resolution, and corporate social investment.

Tim has led and contributed to projects in the natural resources sector (mining, water and land) in many parts of Africa. Clients include financiers, donors, mining and infrastructure companies, regional development agencies and government regulators charged with resource management and regulation.

Tim has a particular interest in mobilising sustainable local development, building on opportunities presented by projects and project investments. In this context he has designed and promoted inclusive development planning, development partnerships (including local communities) and the establishment and mobilisation of locally grounded, owned and run community development trusts.

The engagement process leading to the establishment of development trusts for the Anglo American Platinum Alchemy empowerment programme was awarded IAP2 Core Values Project of the Year in 2014.

Dr Thato Shale

Dr Thato Shale obtained her Doctoral Degree in Natural Science from the University of Natal in 2003. She has a vast experience in environmental and stakeholder management through her various positions which she occupied in mining industry, academia, consulting and government sectors.

She is currently at Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) as the organisations Social Specialist. Her role is to manage, guide, monitor and oversee the performance of social teams in the implementation of TCTA bulk water supply projects.

She ensures that the professional service providers and the contractors align the implementation of the projects to the desired stipulated outputs in projects’ specifications, legal requirements and best practices. Her specialist involvement in the projects focuses on:

  1. • maximising stakeholder participation and benefits;
  2. • minimising negative impacts;
  3. • maximising job creation;
  4. • developing skills;
  5. • sharing of information and education and awareness;
  6. • mentoring the social team;
  7. • restoring livelihood for the directly impacted; and
  8. • Managing and mitigating of social risks.

She worked at Gold Fields mining company as a Stakeholder Relations Manager, implementing social and labour plan (SLP) and building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders. She further worked as a consultant for different mining houses as Senior Transformation Advisor under the Managing Transformation Solutions Company, where she compiled social and labour plans for new and amended existing mining rights. Prior to these, she worked as a conservationist for Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment and consulted on biodiversity conservation for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project during the construction of the Mohale Dam. She project managed the study on health and economy relationship conducted by Wits and Princeton Universities.

Thuli Phakathi

Thuli is a graduate from Boston Media House with a Diploma in Media Practices and further holds a Higher Certificate in Economic Management Science from the University of South Africa. She completed an internship at the SABC in the Content Hub: Entertainment Division from 2012 to– 2013, and worked as a Production Assistant for the Production Division from 2014 to 2015.

Her passion lies in Communications where she endeavours to connect people the information they need and help them understand that participating makes a great difference in their lives.

Her background of being exposed to the corporate media world through the SABC has paved the way to understand and gain knowledge of aligning people to their environment. She is the Senior Communications Officer at Tshikovha Communications under the umbrella of Tshikovha Green and Climate Change Advocates.

Amelia Visagie

Amelia Visagie fulfils the role of Senior Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Consultant at Aurecon and is based in Tshwane, South Africa.

She started her career working in local, provincial and national government departments and subsequently established her own training and development company which further strengthened relationships with government and the private sector.

Her portfolio has expanded to stakeholder engagement strategies, sustainable socio-economic development initiatives, skills development, community livelihood restoration and awareness creation. Her vision is to ensure that these initiatives are both interactive and co-creative to the benefit of all.

Amelia strongly believes that stakeholder engagement and communication between role players is the glue of any project and is the differentiator that sets great projects apart. She is serving on the African board of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and was part of a team who won the International Aurecon Sustainability and overall People’s Choice award in 2017 for her excellent initiatives in community sustainability.


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