Our Board Of Directors

Petronel Nieuwoudt

has over 25 years’ experience in the care and conservation of wildlife.

After finishing her university studies in 1991, Petronel joined the Endangered Species Protection Unit of the South African Police Service (ESPU) where she held the rank of Captain. In 1999 she left the Police Service and started The Game Capture School. Petronel managed the school for ten years, which was the first comprehensive training academy in South Africa to offer courses to veterinarians and non-veterinarians that focused on the theoretical and practical aspects of best practices for wildlife capture, care and management.

Petronel also started the Sondela Wildlife Centre In Bela Bela and the Tamboti Wildlife Centre in Mookopong. In 2011 Petronel moved to Mpumalanga where her passion for the protection of wildlife resulted in the founding of Care for Wild Africa, a rescue and rehabilitation centre for all wildlife in need.

As the rhino poaching crisis developed, so too did the need for a highly specialized care facility. Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary NPC was established in 2015. Since its beginning, Petronel and Care for Wild have rescued over 80 rhinos with the mission to rehabilitate, rewild and release these rhinos into protected and healthy ecosystems to ensure the survival of the species. Petronel’s vision is one that is inclusive of community involvement and sustainability.

“Let’s row together! One team one dream!”

Chris de Bruno Austin

is globally recongnized as a forest and wild fire specialist. He is MD of WoF International/ Kishugu Holdings Limited (Mauritius) and CEO of the Kishugu Group of Companies. Chris was responsible for the successful implementation of the South African Government’s Working on Fire Programme. This resulted in the Programme being internationally recognized as the benchmark for rural job creation. WoF International  currently employs approximately 1,200 fire fighters in Chile and seasonal fire fighters in Australia.

He was instrumental in the planning and development of various international projects, e.g. the first climate change project for Peace Parks Foundation in Western Zambia, developing the forestry skills of thousands of small-scale farmers in Africa, developing vegetation management prescriptions for various National Parks in India and growing the integrated fire management business in the plantation forests of Latin America.

Chris is the author and co-author of numerous technical papers and fire management plans including Ngorongoro, Serengeti and the Okavango Delta and was involved for many years with the SavFIRE research project in the Kruger National Park.

Nico Oosthuizen

has 24 years’ experience in the forestry industry. He is a divisional director for Working on Fire International under the division New Markets. He has a B.Proc UNISA, 1993. He is responsible for the Groups strategy and expansion into new markets.

He is a member of the Groups Global Executive Committee and President of General Council for WoF Mozambique. He is responsible for establishing new companies, operations and partnership relations with the Mozambican Government and its parastatals who are all shareholders.

President and member of the Executive Committee of Barberton Chamber of Business.

Member of the Task team for Barberton Makhonjwa World Heritage Site.

Director of Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism. NPO member of the Board of Directors of Mpumalanga Tourism Authority.

Mark Ngwenyama

has over 22 years of experience working in the political sphere.  He is the Relationship Manager for the Barberton Chamber of Business, Batobic programme.

He has a National Certificate from the Department of Higher Education which he obtained in 1991.

He has successfully led in the community liaison and political support coordination for the recently inscribed Barberton Makhonjwa World Heritage Site, the first in Mpumalanga Province, since 2010.  He has also worked in Parliament for the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and the Parliamentary Constituency Office as an Office Administrator and has more than 18 years work experience with communities in Barberton and surrounding areas.

Advisory Board

Dr Sam Ferreira (SANParks) – Ecology
Dr Markus Hofmeyr – Veterinarian
Dr Ferreira du Plessis (MTPA) – Veterinarian
Dr Albertus Coetzee (West Acres Animal Hospital) – Private Veterinarian

Krista Krieger – US Relations
Prof. Winston Trollip – Fire Ecology