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 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 Environmental Health Campaigner. 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 the groundWork in 2021.
Asiphile is passionate about academic research, waste management and working with communities. Prior to joining groundWork, Asiphile worked as 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.
Siyabonga Macu is a groundwork intern for 2020.
After graduating, he worked in one of the coal mines in Dundee as an environmental intern and later became an environmental assistant. After spending some time soul searching, he joined the groundwork team, based in Middleburg and working on coal.
Siya’s interest lies in studying and tackling the field of geography and environmental management, and intersecting environmental and social justice.
He has a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Durban.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Luqman Yesufu is groundWork's Global Green and Healthy Hospital (GGHH) Network Campaign Manager.
As someone who has previously been involved in environmental health research, Luqman feels that working at groundWork gives him an opportunity to be proactive in his desire to make a difference to the environment, making it safe and sustainable for all.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and a Master of Public Health with a specialisation in environmental health from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Before joining groundWork, he worked as an Industrial Hygienist at Solid Earth International.
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.