To promote food security through food and craft enterprise development in rural communities in South Africa.

Founded in 1987, the Siyazisiza Trust (meaning “we help one another”) is a non-profit development organisation committed to promoting food security and food and craft enterprise development in rural communities in South Africa.

The Trust’s work in food security and agricultural livelihoods is currently focused in northern KwaZulu-Natal where the Trust provides support to over 60 agricultural projects ranging in size from small subsistence-based food gardens to medium-sized commercial-based agricultural enterprises.

In 2012 the Trust’s craft development approach was remodelled and is now centred on the establishment of independent secondary marketing business entities which will, through the provision of marketing, administration and financial management training and mentoring, market and sell product hand-made by rural craft producers within their respective geographical areas. The Trust is currently working with 46 craft groups and 5 independent secondary marketing businesses across KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

Download the Siyazisiza Trust 2017/18 Annual Report

Patron in Perpetuity:                Mrs Mary Rose

Patrons:                                   Dr Chris Saunders, Mr Arnold Zulman

Board of Trustees:

 Catherine Tinavapi, Chairperson:

2Catherine is a Senior Legal Advisor in Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking division specializing in cash, trade financing and custody and administration of securities. Her portfolio is structured geographically, at a high level, to cover all the countries in which Standard Bank operates on the African Continent. Catherine is also responsible for all matters relating to and involving SWIFT, interbank relationships and multinationals and public international organizations such as the United Nations. In addition to banking experience, Catherine has worked in private legal practice, management consulting and advisory services. Catherine’s management consulting experience includes consultancy in strategic purchasing, supply chain management and supplier development, business process improvement, business process outsourcing, shared services and project management.

Sifiso Simelane:

Sifiso is an investment professional with over ten years working experience, having begun his career in 2005 in the financial services sector working for Rand Merchant Bank Asset Management. The bulk of his working experience has been gained working for the National Empowerment Fund, first as an Investment Associate and later as a Senior Investment Associate. Sifiso has extensive experience in the areas of deal origination, due diligence, valuations and financial modelling. He has concluded deals in various key sectors during his tenure at the National Empowerment Fund.

Sifiso holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree from the University of Cape Town and he is currently enrolled for the Master of Commerce Degree in Development Finance with the UCT’s Graduate School of Business.

Sifiso’s passion is the empowerment of black people in creating and developing new and sustainable ventures. He has a keen interest in strategy formulation, working with entrepreneurs in the business planning and implementation stages for their new ventures.

Eugenie Drakes:

4Eugenie has been involved in the creative industries for many years and founded piece in 2000.   Piece collaborates with craft artists from all walks of South African life, exposing their designs to the South African and international markets and trains and mentors producers to operate successfully in the modern business world. In 2013 piece was a Runner up in the SAGE 702 Small Business Competition.   Eugenie has consulted to the W K Kellogg Foundation in Botswana and KZN as well as Technoserve in Swaziland.   She is a Founder Board Member of the Southern Guild Design Foundation and a Graduate of the Goldman Sachs-GIBS 10 000 Women Certificate Programme for Women Entrepreneurs.

Rachel Ruwo:

3Rachel is a partner and Head of Advisory and Research at Opportunvest, a company that focuses on development and funding of business opportunities. Her responsibilities at Opportunvest include deal origination, fund raising, structuring and specialised investment reporting. A multi-talented and tasked individual, Rachel has worked in various private equity, banking, financial and advisory functions. She is passionate about the investment and capital markets and their accommodation to previously disadvantaged communities. She has worked with Empowerdex, the National Empowerment Fund and the DBSA Jobs Fund on various BEE transactions and job creation initiatives. She holds a BSc Honours degree in Economics and is a member of the CFA Institute.

Hugh Sundelson:

5Hugh has served both as an internal and external consultant and has extensive experience in transforming and leveraging people capability and organizational potential. Having consulted to several corporations, both nationally and internationally, Hugh developed a deep appreciation of the dynamic forces that drive and achieve organizational strategy and ultimately create organizational capability and shareholder value. Hugh completed his Masters (M.A.) degree in Professional Development (Coaching) through Middlesex University in the United Kingdom and is in the process of completing his Doctorate (PhD) in Organizational Behaviour.

Zimkhitha Zatu:

7Zimkhitha is a Chartered Accountant who qualified in 2007. She completed her undergraduate and post graduate studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her work experience began at KPMG where she completed her articles in the Industrial, Automotive and Pharmaceuticals business unit. In 2008 she joined the Industrial Development Corporation (“IDC”) as a Business Analyst. In 2010 she was promoted to Account Manager in the Metals, Transport and Machinery products business. In 2012 Zimkhitha was appointed Financial Manager: Cement Business Analyst at PPC Ltd. In 2014 she was promoted to the PPC Ltd CFO’s office as the Executive Manager. Zimkhitha currently holds board positions with African Women Chartered Accountants (“AWCA”), the SAICA Thuthuka Education Upliftment Trust and the Siyazisiza Trust.

 Sinegugu Zukulu:

Sinegugu Zukulu is a dynamic, inspiring and deeply committed educator, social and environmental activist and professional environmental manager.  He was born on the Pondoland Wild Coast, a place of deep significance in his life.  He spearheaded the fight for the protection of the Xolobeni dunes on the Wild Coast against an Australian giant titanium mining company and also vigorously opposes the proposed N2 toll road.  He was also instrumental in linking GET with the Somkhele communities affected by mining and is a champion for the rights of rural communities affected by mining.  These are on-going battles that he somehow manages in-between an incredibly pressured workload.

staffThe Trust has 21 full-time employees, 7 of whom are based in Johannesburg, 12 in KwaZulu-Natal and 2 in Mpumalanga.


Six out of ten poor people in South Africa live in rural areas.


8,1m people are unemployed in South Africa


The lowest official employment rate is in KwaZulu-Natal followed by Limpopo (15.9%)

Rural population

More than half of the population of Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, North West Province and Mpumalanga are rural.


Of households in South Africa's informal settlements do not eat three meals a day.

Water Scarcity

Forests of invasive trees compete for water, soaking up billions of litres that once filled mountain streambeds.