Our core team


Phuhlisani Solutions was established in 2003. Our core team combines more than a 100 person years of rich development experience in Southern Africa and internationally.


David Mayson

David is the managing member of Phuhlisani Solutions. He has worked for over ten years for the Surplus People Project, a leading land sector NGO before initiating Phuhlisani Solutions cc. He has a deep knowledge of land and agrarian reform - the integration of the various processes of land acquisition and the development of tenure systems, with agricultural development and local, district and provincial level governance.

He has engaged with these issues at the practical level of implementation, at the research level, at a broader district management level and at the level of writing strategy and policy. He also has extensive facilitation and project management experience.


Bonakele 'Boyce' Williams

Boyce has many years experience of facilitation of community development complemented by a number of specifically orientated courses in development facilitation and land reform. With ten years experience in the trade unions and over ten years experience as a land and development facilitator for the Surplus People Project he brings invaluable and necessary facilitation skills to the project. He has undertaken a number of public participation and conflict resolution processes, and been centrally involved in facilitating participatory learning processes as well as participatory research processes.


Siyabulela Manona

Siyabu became a Phuhlisani partner in 2009. He has 15 years experience in rural and urban development planning, implementation and policy development in South Africa. He has extensive experience with land reform, rural livelihoods and LED, rural water, environment and forestry. Siyabu worked for the Border Rural Committee before co-founding Umhlaba Consulting Group based in the Eastern Cape where he remains a Director.


Rick de Satgé

Rick is a land, livelihoods and capacity development specialist with comprehensive experience spanning land reform, land rights management, sustainable livelihoods, rural and urban development, adult learning and capacity development. He has worked extensively in South Africa, Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent in Botswana in a variety of development settings.

He is recognised as a ‘deep generalist’ and independent thinker able to work at the interface between different sectors and is acknowledged as an innovator and producer of high quality work. He has worked on the ground as a rural fieldworker living and working in remote rural areas and played a central role in the founding and management of two NGOs and in the establishment of local and regional inter-sectoral learning networks. After almost 20 years in the NGO sector in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana he started working as an independent consultant and as an Associate of the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town. With over 12 years of independent consulting experience he became a partner in Phuhlisani Solutions.


Ursula Smith

Ursula joined Phuhlisani in 2009 as our Administrative Manager. She was then invited to become a partner. Ursula worked for sixteen years at the City of Cape Town and nine years in the private sector with a leading training, consulting and skills development company. Ursula’s role in the company is to develop and ensure the optimal efficiency of Phuhlisani’s management and client liaison systems. Her experience working with SAQA systems and SETAs is assisting Phuhlisani to provide accredited training for land reform and rural development.


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