Meet our Board of Directors
Khaya Tyatya is currently employed as Director: Programmes at the Zenex Foundation. Khaya has extensive experience in the area of education and grantmaking having previously worked for Tshikululu Social Investments where he held numerous roles including Client Relationship Manager and education specialist. Khaya has also worked as an education specialist at the National Education Collaboration Trust and JET Education Services. Khaya has expertise in the areas of programme design, strategy development and stakeholder engagement amongst others.
Khaya is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Johannesburg. His research focuses on understanding factors that affect student academic success in post school education.
Réjane is an Economist and a CFA charterholder. She completed her undergraduate degree in Business Science at the UCT and her Masters degree in Development Economics at the University of Sussex, UK. She has previously held the positions of Chief Economist and Head of International Portfolio Investments for Metropolitan Asset Managers and Research Analyst for US investment bank, Merrill Lynch, in the economics and fixed-income sales and trading departments. Rejane was a trustee and the National Treasurer for TCOE, the Trust for Community Outreach and Education. She has previously served as
a volunteer counselor and a member of the board of directors of the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust. She is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) and the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN). Réjane is a founding member of the Bulungula Incubator.
Megan is a senior economist in the Economic Policy division of South Africa’s National Treasury. She has
worked since 2012 in development economics, in the private sector for Genesis Analytics, in the academic space for the Universities of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand, and as an independent researcher. Though she had the misfortune of studying economics at the height of the neoliberal project, she has been on a journey of recovery, wading into feminist economics, economic history and heterodox economic ideas. Her work on the EC shifts her away from her focus on urban poverty, inequality and joblessness to a rural expression of these challenges; re-orientating her from the abstractions of policy-making to the practice of community-centred change. Megan has an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
Lunga Siyo was admitted to the Eastern Cape Society of Advocates, Grahamstown, where he began his career in December 2013. He was admitted to the Johannesburg Society of Advocates in 2015. He holds an LLB and an LLM in Constitutional Law. Lunga is a member of Thulamela Chambers. Lunga is also in-house counsel at the Constitutional Litigation Unit of the Legal Resources Centre. His areas of interest include constitutional law, administrative law, land rights, mining law, customary law, medical negligence, personal injury law and general litigation. He has appeared in the High Court, Land Claims Court and the Constitutional Court.
Executive Director and Founder
Tess has a B.Soc.Sci in Politics, Philosophy and Economics as well as an LLB from UCT and an LLM from Harvard University. She completed her articles at Webber Wentzel attorneys before moving to the Legal Resources Centre for human rights experience. She also spent a year clerking at the Constitutional Court after being appointed by Justice Skweyiya. Tess has experience working in the education and early childhood development sectors at the grassroots, grant-making and policy levels (having worked at the Bulungula Incubator, for Tshikululu Social Investments and as a consultant for Ilifa Labantwana and the (Nelson Mandela Foundation). She serves as the Treasurer of Equal Education, is a 2019/20 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity and a Salzberg Global Fellow.
Yana Van Leeve
Yana commenced her career in constitutional litigation at the renowned Legal Resources Centre, founded by Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson. She later specialised in education law and policy and currently serves on the National Council of Equal Education. Following a year of clerking at the Constitutional Court for Justice Edwin Cameron, Yana joined Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr as an associate in 2016 and worked there as a senior associate until 2021. She then moved to Ilifa Labantwana, an organisation that focuses on early childhood development, as their Policy, Advocacy and Communications Director. Yana is now pursing her LL.M at Queen’s University Belfast. Yana is also the Chairperson of Equal Education.
Hombakazi Mercy Nqandeka
Hombakazi Mercy Nqandeka was born in Mqele location at Elliotdale (Xhorha) in the Eastern Cape
Province in South Africa. She is a driven young woman who takes pride in the betterment of the preservation and promotion of the Xhosa culture. She is passionate about Rural Development and Africa at large. She has authored and published two books: The Dissonant Rainbow (2019) and To My Young Self (2020). She was, until recently, investing her time in volunteering at Bulungula on a women’s farming project. Mercy also teaches bead-making to the Bulungula youth. She holds double Masters degree in Agriculture Climate Change Transition from the National University of Ireland, Galway and SupAgro, Montpellier, France. She now works for Viva con Agua on their Water and Sanitation projects in the local schools in the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area.
Mzuzile Mhlola was born in Mgojweni (in the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area) and finished school at neighbouring Zithulele. He started working at the Bulungula Incubator as the only male Nomakhaya
(home based worker) and quickly moved up the ranks to Assistant Manager of the BI health programme, showing leadership and dedication to his work and community. In 2017, he became the first Vibrant Villages Manager leading and shaping a new area of projects for the BI that includes: managing the Bulungula Radio and running sports leagues in all the villages. He describes himself has deeply committed to development.