Bobby Peek has been groundWork's Director since its launch in 1999. He has worked on environmental justice issues since 1995, starting as a community activist in south Durban. In 1998, he received the Goldman Prize for Africa for uniting the Durban communities against polluting industry in south Durban, South Africa, through the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance.
He advises on various national and international environmental justice strategies. He has received an honorary PhD from the Durban University of Technology.
Gill Addison has been with groundWork since it was founded in 1999. As Deputy Director she is responsible for the financial and organisational administration.
Gill's NGO experience includes working for a funder and two environmental justice organisations prior to groundWork.
Nerisha Baldevu is the Regional Facilitator for Friends of the Earth Africa (FoEA), working from Johannesburg, South Africa, based at groundWork. Nerisha is a long-standing human rights and social justice activist, with fierce commitment to feminist movement building. With over 25 years’ experience in organising at local, national and regional levels, Nerisha has worked with diverse groups and organisations within the labour, social justice, women’s rights, LGBTQ, youth and environmental sectors, to build and grow solidarity and alliances for change.
Her work experience includes programme coordination and management; strategic development and implementation of projects and campaigns; contextual analysis, communications, research and writing for organisations such as the Africa Climate Justice Group (through WoMin), Just Associates, Earthlife Africa and Khanya College. Nerisha joined FoEA in July 2020.
Musa Chamane joined groundWork in 2005
He is the Waste Campaign Manager and has been instrumental in the formation of South African Waste Pickers Association, which is a growing movement that unites waste pickers from throughout South Africa.
Prior to joining groundWork, he worked with environmental consultants and spent some time teaching.
Musa has a Bachelor of Social Science Honours Degree, majoring in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Development from University of KwaZulu Natal and holds a Project Management Diploma from Varsity College.
Lorraine Chiponda is the Africa Coal Network Coordinator. She took up this role in 2019
Lorraine is passionate about environmental and climate justice and has worked with Natural Justice, a regional environmental organisation of lawyers. Lorraine worked at the interface of environmental law and human rights law, carrying out community-centred legal empowerment using various legal empowerment methodologies and research.
She holds a Master of Science Degree in Development Studies from Women’s University in Africa, where she also obtained the Dell Campo Award for academic excellence.
Rico Euripidou is groundWork’s Campaign Coordinator, a position created in groundWork to manage and support campaign staff in the strategic alignment of groundWork’s six campaigns.
He has been with groundWork since 2005. His interests lie in working on issues of energy, chemicals policy, climate change and public health, all of which are, of course, closely interrelated.
He trained as an Environmental Epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
David Hallowes writes the annual groundWork Report on the state of environmental justice.
He has worked as an independent practitioner doing research and facilitation with civil society organisations across a range of sectors, including environment, education, career information, labour, land and rural development and organisation development.
In 1992, he organised Earthlife Africa's International Environment Conference where the concept of environmental justice was introduced and from which the Environmental Justice Networking Forum was formed.
He has a BA from what was then the University of Natal and an MA from the University of Essex in the UK.
Avena Jacklin is groundWork’s Climate and Energy Justice Campaign Manager. She joined groundWork in 2020.
Avena innovated soil ameliorants produced from alien invasive wattle trees. She is the winner of the Mpumalanga Female Farmer Award (2007, 2009) and runner up in the 2008 Grassland Society of Southern Africa’s Peter Edward Award for Best Conservation Farming.
She has 25 years experience in environmental consultation including compliance, mine closure, rehabilitation and public participation. She was the Project Coordinator for the SDCEA- DN Air Quality Project in 2002 and in 2018 worked on the Just Energy Transition Exchange with groundWork and SSNC.
Asiphile Khanyile works as the UMI Waste Project Campaigner. She joined groundWork in 2021.
Asiphile is passionate about academic research, waste management, and working with communities.
Prior to joining groundWork, Asiphile worked as an intern specialising in environmental education and waste management. She holds a degree in Geography and Environmental Management and a postgraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is the recipient of the 2021 Albert T Modi Ubuntu Award for her outstanding inter/multi/transdisciplinary master's research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Carissa Marnce works as the Communications Officer for Africa’s Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), and has done so since 2020.
She holds a National Diploma in Journalism from the Durban University of Technology and is currently studying towards a postgraduate degree in Journalism. Carissa has experience in writing for local news media and enjoys using various types of online media tools.
Mary-Joy Masetlane works as the UMI Energy Democracy and Sovereignty Project Organiser, she joined the groundWork team in 2021.
Mary-Joy has experience in the mining sector, and electricity generation at Eskom, where she engaged with different stakeholders, conducting research and supporting Eskom’s Primary Energy Department.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Geography, and a Bachelor of Science Honours in Geology from Wits University. She is currently conducting a research project at Wits Business School for a Master of Management in Energy Leadership.
Thomas Mnguni is groundWork’s Community Activist. He joined the team in 2015.
He is one of the co-founders of the Greater Middelburg Residents Association, which focuses on service delivery and socio-economic issues. He is also a member of the Freedom of Expression Network, which works closely with the Freedom of Expression Institute, which aims to protect people from abuse and illegal arrest, especially during protest action. He co-founded the Highveld Environmental Justice Network (HEJN), a network of six towns, in 2015.
He matriculated in 1992 and worked for Columbus Stainless Steel until 1996. He later joined the board of the Highveld Entrepreneur Development Centre and became part of management.
Robby Mokgalaka is groundWork's Coal Campaign Manager. He joined groundWork in 2014.
Robby's interests lie in working with people, particularly in assisting, organising and working with them to mobilise around issues of justice, whether it be social or environmental.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Law and his LLB from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Before joining groundWork, he was a research intern and manager at UKZN, a research assistant at the Medical Research Council and a Candidate Attorney at the Legal Aid Board.
Tsepang Molefe is groundWork’s Media, Information and Publications Campaign Manager. He joined groundWork in 2018
Tsepang is passionate about social and environmental justice issues, and he believes that communities have the potential benefit from developing and running their own small-scale economies.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Prior to joining groundWork, he worked independently with a number of publications as a writer and content developer, and he also gained experience in corporate South Africa working for ABSA, BATSA, SABMiller, and Coca-cola SA.
Victor Munnik is a groundWork research associate. He has co-authored groundWork reports with David Hallowes since 2006.
He has worked closely with activists, particularly the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance, the South African Water Caucus and the Push Back Coal meetings. He is interested in political ecology, water pollution, coal and climate change and supporting and strengthening environmental justice activism. His research for the Water Research Commission focuses on civil society participation.
He holds a PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies (Wits) and is also a research associate at the Society Work and Development (SWOP) Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Shelley Paterson CA (SA) is groundWork’s Financial Consultant, and has been since 2018 Her role is to provide support in NGO compliance and reporting to funders.
Her exposure in different companies has afforded her the opportunity to obtain extensive experience in many types of business environments, including finance, manufacturing, retail and consulting as well as different types of non-profit organisations. Shelley finds it rewarding supporting organisations that are making a difference in the world.
She has held various positions in the past, including audit manager, financial director and as a chief financial officer for another national environmental NGO.
Mafoko Phomane is our Environmental Health Campaigner. Mafoko is a public health professional and researcher with over 15 years of experience in the public health and development sectors in South Africa and Lesotho.
She has held project coordinator and research positions at the Rural Health Advocacy Project with Wits Health Consortium in South Africa, as well as district-level HIV program roles at the Ministry of Health in Lesotho.
Mafoko holds a Master of Public Health degree, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resources, and monitoring and evaluation experience.
Jeanne Prinsloo plans and co-ordinates the groundWork Environmental Justice School for activists. There have been five annual schools since 2014. Together with Bobby Peek, she has written papers describing the rationale and process of the school.
Jeanne is also a teacher and has engaged in curriculum development relating to education, media and gender over several decades both for university and NGO courses.
Azeeza Rangunwala, is our Global Green and Healthy Hospital (GGHH) Coordinator.
Azeeza comes into this position with over 6 years of experience working for Gauteng Health as an Assistant Director for Research, Policy and Capacity Building.
Azeeza has been involved in policy formulation and managing projects that are in line with Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Plan. She was instrumental in developing Safety, Health, Environment, Risk, Quality (SHERQ) policy in the Department that guided the occupational health and safety aspects of readjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic in public healthcare facilities.
Azeeza has a master's degree in Medical Virology, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management. Health, integrity, truth, justice and activism are core values that inform her career choice.
Niven Reddy is groundWork’s Campaign Research and Technical Support Manager.
Since joining groundWork in 2016, Niven has shifted from general campaigns research to focusing his time as the African Regional Coordinator for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement.
After graduating in Environmental Management he spent a few years facilitating social science courses at a Maritime college before working as a junior environmental officer at an environmental planning consulting company.
Joan Cameron is based in Johannesburg and has enjoyed an association with groundWork since 2014, providing admin and logistics support to various projects through a number of short-term contracts. In late 2019, Joan was appointed to the post of Executive Assistant (part time) to Bobby Peek, Director of groundWork.
Joan has considerable previous experience in senior administrative posts at Wits University and with a range of local, national and international NGOs with diverse spheres of interest. She also works as a freelance editor for various publishing houses, independent authors and students working on dissertations and theses.
Bathoko Sibisi is groundWork's Logistics & Admin Manager. She has been with groundWork since 2001.
She grew up in KwaMakhutha Township in South Durban adjacent to toxic industrial production, which is from where her interest in environmental justice stems.
She obtained her N6 Secretarial Diploma from Pietermaritzburg Technical College. She worked at Environmental Justice Networking Forum, before joining groundWork.
Gillian Waterworth is groundWork's Bookkeeper. She joined groundWork full-time in 2012, after having worked part-time for a number of years.
She has always been interested in groundWork's work and admires what the organisation has accomplished.
She previously worked for the Chartered accounting firms Alan English & Co as a bookkeeper and then moved on to Warmingtons and Jacques Theron & Associates as a Senior Bookkeeper.