SANBI’s structure is a reflection of the Institute’s responsibilities as outlined in the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA), 2004. The key indicator of this is SANBI’s high-level Organogram. The organogram mirrors SANBI’s mandated functions through six programmes.

Download the SANBI Organogram

Board Members

Mrs. Beryl Ferguson (Chairperson of the Board)

Prof. Brian van Wilgen
Mrs. Thandiwe Godongwana

Dr. Lesley Thulani Luthuli
Ms. Ntsoaki Mngomezulu

Ms. Limpho Makotoko (DEA representative)
Dr. Yonah Seleti (DST representative)
Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi (CEO)
Ms Pam Yako
Ms Phuthanang Cenea Motsielwa
Prof. Kowiyou Yessoufou

Company Secretary: Ms. Lebogang Ralepeli

The SANBI Board is a statutory body appointed by the Minister of Environmental Affairs as prescribed in NEMBA and reports to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries. This is the fifth Board appointed on 01 October 2018 for a three-year term ending on 30 September 2021, under the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 109 of 2004 (NEMBA).

National Zoological Garden Executive Director: Mr Leslie Mudimeli

Composition of the Board

The Board is subject to the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Treasury Regulations and other relevant laws of the Republic of South Africa. The Board also strives to ensure good corporate governance practice within SANBI and it has adopted relevant sections of the King Report, which have been incorporated into its Board Manual/Terms of Reference.

Board Sub-Committees

Audit and Risk Committee (ARC)

Dr. Lesley Luthuli (Acting Chairperson)
Ms. Thandiwe Godongwana
Ms. Limpho Makotoko
Prof. Brian van Wilgen
Mr. Shonisani Munzhedzi (Ex-Officio)

  • Expert Members

Mr Tichaona Zororo
Mr Sathie Gounden
Mr Joseph Mokoro

Human Resources and Remuneration Committee (HR & REMCO)

Dr. Yonah Seleti (Chairperson)
Ms. Ntsoaki Mngomezulu
Ms. Thandiwe Godongwana
Ms. Limpho Makotoko
Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi (Ex-Officio)

Research, Development & Innovation Committee (RD&I)

Prof. Brian van Wilgen (Acting Chairperson)
Dr. Yonah Seleti
Ms. Ntsoaki Mngomezulu
Dr. Lesley Luthuli
Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi (Ex-Officio)

  • Expert Members

Dr. Luthando Dziba
Prof. Muthama Muasya

Members of the Executive Management Committee (EXCO)

Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi – CEO (Chairperson)
Carmel Mbizvo – Head: Biodiversity Science and Policy Advice
Lorato Sithole – Chief Financial Officer
Ramagwai Sebola – Chief Director: Foundational Biodiversity Science
Chief Director: Biodiversity Assessment and Knowledge Generation
Christopher Willis – Chief Director: National Botanical Gardens
Elliot Mashile – Chief Operations Officer
Maano Netshiombo – Chief Director: Human Resources
Deshni Pillay – Chief Director: Policy Advice and Information Management
Mandy Barnett – Chief Director: Adaptation Policy and Resourcing
Leslie Mudimeli – Executive Director: National Zoological Garden
Director: Marketing, Communications and Commercialisation
Tracy Rehse – Chairperson: Management Committee (MANCO)
Lebogang Ralepeli – Company Secretary

Members of the Management Committee (MANCO)

Mahlodi Tau – Director: Biodiversity Mainstreaming (Chairperson)
Sebataolo Rahlao – Director: Biodiversity Evidence
Vivian Malema – Director: Biodiversity Education and Public Engagement – NBGs
Antoinette Kotze – Director: Foundational Research and Services
Vusumuzi Mncwango – Director: Strategy and Organisational Development
Lebogang Ralepeli – Company Secretary
Faizel Richards – Director: Information Technology
Azisa Parker – Project Leader: Biodiversity and Land Use Project
Michael Jennings – Strategic Grant Manager
Michelle Hamer – Director: South African Research Infrastructure Projects
Thompson Mutshinyalo – Director: National Botanical Gardens (NBGs)
Tracy Rehse – Director: Conservation and Animal Collections
Alan Smith – Director: Financial Management and Reporting
Jeffrey Manuel – Director: Biodiversity Information Management and Planning
Kgabo Moloto – Director: Supply Chain and Asset Management
Werner Voigt – Curator: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Jenifer Zungu – Project leader: Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security
Portia Mpolaise – Director: Governance, Compliance, Risk and Legal Services
Ulrich Oberprieler – Director: Biodiversity Education and Public Engagement (NZG)
Eric van Wyk – Acting Director: Collections and Innovation
Director: Marketing, Communications and Commercialisation

By invitation

Carol Poole – Deputy Director: Biodiversity Research Projects, representative for Directorate: Biodiversity Assessment.


Elephant seal

Elephant Seals can hold their breath for up TWO HOURS! But how? Well, seals have more blood in their bodies than any other animal and, since oxygen is stored and carried around the body in blood, it allows them to hold their breath for an extra long time.