Palesa is an independent professional working in a consulting and advisory capacity in the social and public sector, with a strong bias for education and youth related work. Prior to this, her career has spanned a variety of sectors including investment management, energy and philanthropy. She holds qualifications in Business Finance and Investment Management from the University of the Witwatersrand and RAU (now University of Johannesburg). She is currently pursuing Futures Studies with the University of Stellenbosch. Palesa is energised by opportunities to conceptualise and drive high impact programmes towards solving development and societal challenges. Palesa joined the board of directors in 2019.
Hazel has a B.Comm from the University of Stellenbosch. She has experience in financial and project management, event logistics and staff development. Hazel has worked in the hospitality industry for 5 years, in financial services for 5 years and in the non-profit sector for 15 years. She is currently employed by the SA Labour Research Institute and has been seconded to work at SACTWU (South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union) since 2007. Hazel has provided valuable support to Edufundi since 2009 as the assigned SACTWU liaison for the project and was appointed as a director in August 2011.
Phadiela Cooper resigned as the principal of the Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT), a high school in Khayelitsha, in December 2021. COSAT specialises in teaching science, maths and technology, and was the first township school in the history of the province to make the top 10 schools in the province in 2012. She was also featured in a TEDx talk on what makes her school so successful. She has a Bachelor of Social Science degree (UCT), a Higher Education Diploma (UNISA) and a Bachelor of Education Honours and a Masters degree in Education (UWC).
She is currently the Operations manager at the HCI Foundation. Phadiela has joined the Edufundi board in 2016 to provide us with strategic educational support for making our project a success.
Dr Corinne Abel is a registered social worker with a Masters degree in psychology from Wits. She has consulted in IR and HR for over 20 years, facilitating workshops on relationship building, cultural diversity, HIV awareness, conflict resolution and post-strike open sessions. She was head of organisation development at Pick ‘n Pay during the country’s transformation period. Recently, she taught English Literature at Stellenbosch University and qualified with a PhD in this field. She was the CEO of the HCI Foundation for 8 years, she retired from her position in 2019. Corinne joined the board of directors in 2012.
Fambai graduated from UNISA and began his teaching journey back in 1999 (King William’s Town) before moving to Cape for a teaching post in 2005. As an Intermediate Phase educator he was involved in all facets of school life – in the classroom, on the sports field and with cultural activities. In 2008, he left teaching and joined the commercial world. He has been with the Smollan Group for 11 years and is currently a divisional manager. Fambai has a Bachelor of Education degree (UNISA) as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management Practice (Henley Business School.) He is a business partner/mentor and member of the school governing body at St John’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Kensington, Cape Town. He is also the Chairman of the Alumni Committee at Henley Business School, South Africa.
Chris resigned as the deputy secretary general of the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union in September 2019. Chris serves on the boards of Tsogo Sun Hotels, Ithala Development Finance Corporation, Star Knitting (Mauritius) and Edafund (‘NPO’). He also serves as a labour convenor for KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government Economic Council. Chris formed part of the International Labour Organisation to Thailand in 2015, where he presented a South African Labour Law perspective in collective bargaining and trade unions. Chris joined the board of directors in 2020.