Our Team

We are the custodians of natural landscapes that are invaluable in terms of biodiversity, right at Africa’s southernmost tip.

 

And all our members are committed to conserving and protecting our landscapes and water networks.

 

OUR TEAM

The Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area is a voluntary association, overseen by an Executive Committee, and coordinated and managed by a dedicated team of conservationists.

Executive Committee

Chair – Dirk Human

Dirk is the owner and founder of the Black Oystercatcher Wines. Dirk’s family has farmed in the region for four generations, and he has served as the Chair since the launch of the NWSMA. He not only brings business-savvy to the NWSMA, but also a love for the Overberg and its wildlife.

Member – Con Neethling 

Con is a founding member of the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area. Aside from farming in the area, Con also provides tourism accommodation here, and therefore understands the importance of developing the NWSMA into a tourism destination.

Treasurer – Michael van Breda 

Michael is a Chartered Accountant by trade – and so he combines his farming experience with his CA background in the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area. Michael’s family has farmed on the Agulhas Plain for many generations, with Michael’s father a key instigator of the conservation movement on the Plain.

Member – Liohan Giliomee 

Liohan joined the Executive Committee in 2015, and provides extensive experience in the agricultural sector. Liohan is not only an avid farmer, but has shown his love for the land and nature, frequently hosting conservationists on his farm. He also looked after the NWSMA’s buffalo for a number of years.

Member – Mick D’Alton

Mick is one of the founding members of the NWSMA. He has extensive conservation knowledge, combined with farming experience. For years Mick worked to raise awareness of the Agulhas Plain, and the need to conserve it. He won the CAPE Fynbos Conservation Award in 2010 – one of the first landowners to win this award.

Our Vision

To create a sustainable ecology, which ensures the protection of the Nuwejaars Wetland Ecosystem, enhances the heritage and culture of the sub-region, generates benefit for all stakeholders, helps meet social and environmental requirements, and encourages community lifestyles compatible with environmental sustainability.

Conservation Manager – Game & Veld Management

 

Eugene Hahndiek

Eugene grew up on provincial nature reserves in the Western and Eastern Cape. He completed a 3 year diploma in Game Ranch Management at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and has been working in the game industry for about 10 years. He started as a guide at various private nature reserves and has been with the NWSMA since 2013.

Conservation Manager – Planning, Monitoring and Development

 

Erica Brink

Erica joined the Nuwejaars Wetlands SMA team in January 2017 in a new position as the Conservation Manager for Planning, Monitoring & Development. She previously worked for the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management branch, managing two reserves within the greater False Bay Nature Reserve: Pelican Park and Strandfontein Birding Area. Erica completed her B.Sc (with Honors) at the University of Sussex while travelling and studying in England. She obtained her M.Sc in Biological Sciences from the University of Cape Town in December 2016.

Ecosystem Services – Team Leader

 

Joey Cloete

Joey has been an independent contractor for about 20 years. He has worked for a variety of organisations, including Denel, the Cape Agulhas Municipality, H&I Construction, as well as in the Working for Water programme at Agulhas National Park. Joey was born in Elim and has lived there for almost his entire life. He has been working for the SMA since 2009.

 

Ecosystem Services Team Members:

 

Morné Engel

Morné is from the small town of Elim – a member of the NWSMA, and a culturally rich town. He has been working with Joey and his team for about 20 years. He also started at the NWSMA in 2009.

 

Charles Bell

Charles has been working with Joey Cloete since 2005. Charles also grew up in Elim. He has been working with the NWSMA since 2009.

 

Bradley George

Bradley is a relatively new member of the Ecosystem Services team, joining Joey Cloete’s team in 2015. He grew up on farms around the district. He is also the youngest member of the team.

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