Our Team

Meet the RuLIV Team


Nik Hugow – Executive Director
Having been involved in the rural development sector since 1997, Nik’s area of work has been wide and varied from process facilitation, training, mentoring, lobbying & advocacy, project and programme management to governance support of community groups, broader civil society structures and local and district municipalities. He was one of the initiators of RuLIV in relationship to the Office of the Premier and his primary development interests are the democratisation of communities towards their own holistic development. nik@ruliv.org.za

Mkhalelwa Mazibuko – Non Executive Director
Mkhalelwa Mazibuko studied law at the University of Zululand before falling victim to apartheid following his arrest in 1976. He later proceeded with his international law studies at Bochum Ruhr University shortly after which he relocated to Geneva in Switzerland where he graduated in International Studies at Webster University. He worked with various professional and social entities that formed the anti-apartheid movement in western Europe. Mkhalelwa conducted research in the Protection Division of the UNHCR on International Instruments Relating to the Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons.

Mkhalelwa relocated to Zimbabwe in the mid-1980s and was associated with the Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies (ZIDS) and completed a study on Southern Africa’s (SADC) food production systems for the Karibu programme of the Norwegian Council of Churches. He also further completed postgraduate studies in International Relations and Strategic Studies at the University of Zimbabwe.

During the latter part of the 1980s, Mkhalelwa joined the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba focusing on energy, minerals and biological resources law and development economics.

In the early 1990s  Mkhalelwa returned to South Africa and joined the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape in the Department of Development Studies. During this time he served as Director of the Geneva-based South Group (NGOs in the UN) which culminated in the South Group Conference at Fort Hare representing all continents and 36 nations in the southern hemisphere.

Mkhalelwa joined government in 1995 and worked with the Department of Public Works and the Eastern Cape Office of the Premier. He has been the member of numerous boards which include the Appellate Development Tribunal (as Chairperson), Automotive Industry Development Corporation (as Chairperson) Ritz Gaming Group (as Chairperson), NetHealth (as Chairperson) and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) as Deputy Chairperson.

Vijay Makanjee – Non Executive Director
Vijay holds qualifications in African Politics and Journalism from Rhodes University. After an initial career in printing, Vijay became involved in publishing responsible for the rural and regional sections of the Indicator Project South Africa. From there he moved to Community Organisation Research and Development (CORD), working on publications, proposal development and stake holder relations.

From here Vijay moved to the ICT sector with public and private sector companies such as Telkom, Atio and Andrew Satcom before moving to the Eastern Cape as Executive Manager at the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) with roles in Business Development, Investment and Trade Promotion and in the Research, Marketing and IT division (REMIT). During this period he was seconded to the Eastern Cape Tourism Board as interim CEO. He was also appointed CEO of the Hluma Local Investment Agency.

More recently Vijay was head of the Economic and Rural Development Programme at the Eastern Cape Socio- Economic Consultative Council (ECSECC), where he worked on the Eastern Cape’s Job Strategy, the inputs into the Provincial Planning Commission, the Wild Coast Development Programme, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Economic strategy and the provincial industrial strategy among others.

Vijay is an associate to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Development Studies Department, and is an occasional lecturer and a member of the department’s advisory board.

He is director of Ergo Planning, and of Realbridge Consulting Services. He is a trustee of Ubutyebi Trust – a housing finance organisation based in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

He is a non-executive director of Ruliv.

Janine Ristow – Finance, Administration and HR Manager
Janine completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at Rhodes University while working at Deloitte, where she also completed her articles during the same period.  Janine worked at Deloitte for eight years before joining Marais & Smith Chartered Accountants, during which time  she completed her Honours degree and Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy (CTA) at University of Kwazulu-Natal. Janine worked as an audit manager for five years at Marais & Smith Chartered Accountants before joining RuLIV in 2010. She manages RuLIV’s finances, human resources and the day-to-day office management.

Fuzile Zetu – Organisation Development specialist and Community Development Facilitator (SURUDEC)
Fuzile joined the SURUDEC programme in January 2010, having been an independent consultant for six years. His assignments focused on the development of organisational and sector-specific strategy documents and plans. He has also facilitated a number of policy, strategic and operational planning evaluation sessions and he has extensive expertise in building and strengthening civil society structures. Fuzile continues to render OD support to community-based projects supported by RuLIV.

Barbara Manning – Media
Barbara majored in journalism and history and her teeth on the news team at the Daily Dispatch for many years before moving to the features department which covered a wide range of regional activities from entertainment, leisure and heritage to news analysis and topical issues of the day. She also took a break from the newspaper world and worked as a media officer for the Border Rural Committee which assisted rural communities in resisting forced removals and provided assistance to communities in their land claims following 1994. Here she gained valuable insight into the daily struggles of rural communities and their development needs. Since 2007 Barbara has worked as a media consultant servicing a wide range of clients across the city and the Eastern Cape Province. Her areas of specialisation include:  Conceptualising publications, generating and managing editorial content including writing, editing and proofing, researching and producing specialised editorial content with a developmental focus. Barbara provides editorial assistance to RuLIV on a part-time basis.

Tembisa Matolengwe – Development officer
Tembisa hails from Butterworth and holds a Bachelor of Science and an Honours degree in zoology from the University of Fort Hare. She joined RuLIV in late 2012 and plays a significant role in the organisation’s ongoing community development facilitation. With her skills in natural resource management and strong empathy with gender issues and the daily struggles of rural women, Tembisa plays a valuable role in building strong and vibrant communities that are equipped to take their development plans forward. Tembisa is currently working towards completing her Master’s degree.

Mandla Khumsha – Finance and Administration of RuLIV’s special projects
Mandla grew up in Xhongorha location in Mthatha. After matriculation he worked for a number of companies in Cape Town before joining the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) in 1999 as a financial assistant and the German Technical Corporation before joining the SURUDEC programme in May 2009. Since 2015, Mandla has concentrated on managing the corporate responsibility programme of BOSS Gaming.

Unathi Pamela Danster – General Assistant
Unathi comes from King William’s Town and is RULIV’s most treasured asset. She keeps our working environment spotless, always smiles no matter how onerous the task and is an essential part of our team. 043-704 8800

Stephen van Heerden – IT Officer
Stephen matriculated in 2002 and comes with much-needed Information Technology skills. He is responsible for maintaining RuLIV’s databases and servers while assisting with the day-to-day running of the organisation’s IT system and mapping work.