WHO We ARE

SCAT is a veteran

human rights and social justice, philanthropy (re-granting) organisation which has been in existence for 35 years. It has pioneered and developed a model of development that has been acknowledged as both empowering and sustainable with tangible impact at the local level. Over the past five years around R50 million was raised and 175 organisations received grants and support.

Our mission is to empower communities, strengthen civil society, and promote social change in partnership with local development agencies which act as community-driven responses to social justice

SCAT Founder Trustees

Barry Streek

Founder Trustee

Barry Streek was a founder trustee of SCAT and convenor of the Trust. He worked for many years as a political writer for the Daily Dispatch, Cape Times and the Mail & Guardian. He was the former chairperson of the Parliamentary Press Gallery association.

Barry was passionate about SCAT and it’s purpose. He was not one to follow rules, especially unjust rules, and encouraged SCAT to support activists and to be on the side of justice and human rights. He motivated the team, read every report and knew every LDA. He was one of a kind and a man of principle. 

Barry passed away on Friday 21 July 2006 after a brave battle with cancer. 

Di Oliver

Founder Trustee

Diana (Di) Oliver has a long and distinguished service in the non-profit sector. She trained as a social worker. Her principles for justice and human rights led her to join the Black Sash as a member from 1978 to 1995. She was a trustee of the Black Sash for 22 years and served a term as it’s chairperson. She was also a trustee of the CDRA (Community Development Resource Association) for many years. As a founding trustee of SCAT, serving the organisation for more than two decades, she helped to build SCAT into an accountable, developmental grantmaking organisation that had the empowerment of human beings as a principle.

Gordon Young

Founder Trustee

Gordon Young is the reason SCAT built a funding reserve, purchased a building in the inner city when it was not fashionable and encouraged the organisation to build some financial independence. He promoted the Fundraising Incentive Scheme (FRIS) as a vehicle that could help empower SCAT partners to build their own skills in fundraising and to be rewarded for successful fundraising activities. He is a visionary and pioneer of empowerment ventures like the Ditikeni Trust.

Founding SCAT

Barry Streek came to my office in Oslo towards the end of 1984 to present the Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT) and the idea behind it.  We were asked to sign an agreement so that SCAT and the Church of Norway could be partners.  I understood most of what he said, liked the idea and signed up.  When Barry left the office, I said to myself “a very good idea”.  SCAT never was about words.  It never was about talking or discussing.  SCAT was about action.  A lot of action.  The first time I visited a SCAT office was when I woke up one morning in February 1985 in Barry’s house.  The house was already full of people.  In nothing near normal office attire, Barry was dealing with them.  They came with project applications, project problems, all of them full of enthusiasm about their own project.

SCAT responded to a definite need.  So much of the support for work and projects in South Africa happened through churches, trade unions and other umbrella organizations, which were linked to one or other ideologically biased party.  Here was an organization that did not ask about ideological or religious orientation.  It was only interested in the project as such.  Criteria for receiving funds were simple, but strict – especially if there was to be a continuation.  And it grew.  More was needed, and more funds came because people in Norway saw that this was solid work.  I was especially happy to see the variety:  advice offices, meeting halls, craft workshops, work in rural areas, projects in which nobody else was involved.  I visited many of them.  I was always overwhelmed by the variety of projects.  But they all had this in common:  They were rooted in the local community.

More than I remember projects, I remember people:  those sneaking into a hotel meeting room in the middle of the State of Emergency, others in hiding from police.  Teresa Solomons was one of those people.  She oversaw a place in Woodlands, Mitchells Plain and became the mayor of Cape Town, then South Africa’s high commissioner in Tanzania and Canada.  Despite everything, with regard to the projects, we met people of integrity and concern.  It has always been a great joy to relate to the leadership of SCAT:  in discussing issues, in disagreeing, in laughter, in concern.  SCAT has been a collection of competent and highly dedicated people.  It grew as an organization that did more than channel funds.  There were few staff member at the beginning.  We were very clear that we did not want an organization with staff running projects.  The staff had to support those who ran the projects.  That required more and more competence on the side of staff.  They got it.

Most importantly, however, is that the work of SCAT has been carried by the fundamental conviction that every person has inherent dignity.  That is a conviction that can take us through all kinds of political, philosophical and religious disagreements.  SCAT’s work is about enhancing that dignity in every person.

Reverend Canon Dr Trond Bakkevig, Church of Norway 

 

The Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown heralded a change in the way we work and what we are funding. In the video below we share our response to the pandemic.

SCAT Trustees

SCAT Trustees are all volunteers who give of their time and skills to make sure our governance is in line with our statutes and NPO and PBO standards.

Nkosikhulule Nyembezi

Nkosikhulule Nyembezi

Chairperson, Board of Trutees

Nkosikhulule Xhawulengweni Nyembezi is a policy analyst, a researcher, and a human rights activist. He has been involved in the coordination of civil society election-monitoring programmes in the national, provincial and local government elections since 1994, and serves as the Co-Chairperson of the National Co-ordinating Forum – a platform that brings together civil society formations and the Electoral Commission.

Sue Anderson

Sue Anderson

Deputy Chairperson, Board of Trustees

Sue Anderson has vast experience in working in rural communities. She has worked extensively at a project level and understands the challenges facing local development agencies in rural South Africa. She also has experience of funding rural programmes and understands the requirements of and the responsibilities towards donor partners. She brings sound financial experience in financial management systems and has served on numerous Trusts in a financial capacity.

Deena Bosch

Deena Bosch

Trustee, Chair Programmes

Deena Bosch has a long association with SCAT having started in the organisation as a fieldworker and the Development Fund Coordinator. Deena was one of the champions of the pioneering Fundraising Incentive Scheme. Deena is an activist and has worked for Women on Farms, the Treatment Action Campaign and most recently the Black Sash. She is also a board member of the Community Health Media Trust and HWB. She serves on the board of Ditikeni Investment Company.

Jeremy Chennels

Jeremy Chennels

Trustee, Chair Human Resources

Jeremy Chennells is a founding member of Chennells Brummer and Associates and holds a BA (MSc). Jeremy has been involved in an advisory role in Industrial Relations and Labour Law for the past twenty-five years. He serves as a part time Commissioner with the CCMA and continues to lecture part-time in Industrial Relations at the University of Cape Town. He has been serving on bargaining councils as an arbitrator. Jeremy has a long history of association with the advice offices sector.

Khoboso Nthunya

Khoboso Nthunya

Trustee, Programmes Committee

Khoboso comes from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, a constituent community of SCAT. Although not directly involved with the LDA partnered with SCAT, she is involved as a volunteer in many aspects of the development activism in the community and was the Chairperson of the Self-Employed Women’s Union. Khoboso brings a wealth of knowledge of organisations, community development, rural communities and situations unique to the Eastern Cape.

Valerie Jonathan

Valerie Jonathan

Trustee, Finance Committee

Valerie Jonathan is a SCAT trustee since 2013. She is a senior manager, customer relations at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) where she’s worked in both finance and customer relations for over 20 years. She has a post-graduate diploma in business administration from the UCT Graduate School of Business. Valerie is an entrepreneur, a wife, mother and grandmother.

Mandisa Shandu

Mandisa Shandu

Trustee, Human Resources

Mandisa Shandu is the Executive Director of Ndifuna Ukwazi (“NU”). NU is a non-profit activist organisation and Law Centre that combines litigation, research and community organising in campaigns aimed at advancing urban land justice in Cape Town. The organisation’s primary mission is to expand and protect access to affordable housing towards building a more equal and spatially just city. Mandisa founded the NU Law Centre in 2015. Her practice areas support the organisation’s work of advancing urban land justice, including constitutional, property and housing law, and access to basic services. She is a University of Cape Town graduate holding a B.Soc.Sci degree in political science, an LLB degree and an LLM in Constitutional and Administrative Law with distinction. Mandisa was announced as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans in 2016.

Lorenzo Wakefield

Lorenzo Wakefield

Trustee, Chair - Finance Committee

Lorenzo Wakefield has LL.B and LL.M degrees from the University of the Western Cape. He is currently employed as a program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, where he manages a grantmaking portfolio on community justice in Africa. Previously he worked at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa. He also serves on the board of the Triangle Project and in 2012 was selected as the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans.

SCAT Staff

Joanne Harding

Joanne Harding

Director, Ex Officio Trustee

Joanne Harding has been involved with SCAT since 1998 starting as a fieldworker/trainer, then field manager and communications director and became executive director of the organisation in 2006 until 2010 when she left to complete her Master’s degree in Social Planning and Administration. Joanne returned to SCAT in 2016 after being approached by the board to assist in bringing stability to the organisation after a few leadership changes. Joanne is currently doing her PhD in Public Law at UCT. Joanne started her career as a paralegal in a Black Sash advice office in the Eastern Cape in 1992 and is passionate about the role of advice office in ensuring access to justice.

Seth Tladi

Seth Tladi

Programme Director

Seaitsiwe (Seth) Tladi joined SCAT as the Programme Manager in 2011 after working in the development sector for more than 20 years.  Seth studied in Mafikeng, where he obtained a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and Management.  Seth has served on various community development structures and organizations. Seth has also presented papers on Economic Development in the SMME sector both on a local and international level. Seth has co-authored articles and papers on SMME Business Development services best practice Seth is widely traveled and draws from this experience to make a difference in people’s lives. His personal motto is, “Empowering a generation to impact a nation.

Hishaam Nordien

Hishaam Nordien

Finance Manager

Hishaam works alongside Mzolisi Nombevu and Nosimilo Filita-Kukhala in SCAT’s Finance Department.  He has a National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting from Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Colleen Alexander-Julies

Colleen Alexander-Julies

Programme Office

Colleen Alexander-Julies joined SCAT for the first time in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of the Western Cape and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of South Africa. Colleen has extensive experience in organisational development and capacity building programmes. She has a keen interest in access to justice and supports a rights-based approach to development. Her Interest and passion for human rights led her to the University of Oxford where she obtained a scholarship to complete a certificate in International Human Rights Law in 2000. She is an accredited facilitator and assessor and believes in the “extra-ordinariness of ordinary people”.

Nokukhanya Mchunu

Nokukhanya Mchunu

Programme Officer

Nokukhanya Mchunu is a town and regional planning graduate, from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She has a keen interest in the empowerment of communities. Nokukhanya has eight years’ experience in the development sector, having worked with a few NGOs in the Western Cape. Nokukhanya strongly believes in integrated solutions, and has therefore dedicated herself to supporting communities to find their own answers to becoming sustainable.

Vuyo Msizi

Vuyo Msizi

Programme Officer

Vuyo Msizi started working for SCAT in 2011 as a Field Worker in the Eastern Cape, mostly focusing on SCAT’s Refugee, Migrants and Asylum Seeker Programme.  He has participated in diverse community development contexts in the Eastern Cape which includes human rights, adult education and organisational development.  Vuyo‘s last position was as a Programme Coordinator at the Community Development Unit of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.  He has an Honours Degree in Adult Basic Education & Training and has worked in the civil society sector for more than fifteen years.  He has also completed a Labour Relations Management course at the Centre for Business Management and Project Management at the Business School of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.  Vuyo values the innate ability of people to organise and shape the world.  He works from an office in Port Elizabeth. 

Nosimilo Filita-Kukhala

Nosimilo Filita-Kukhala

Finance Administrator

Nosimilo Filita-Kukhala started working for SCAT in June 2018 as a part time Finance Assistant. She also worked for Philanthropy Leadership Network as an Administrator until December 2019. She was previously employed by Ikhala Trust in Port Elizabeth as a Grantee Administrator for 10 years. Nosimilo values working in the NGO Sector as it is all about making a difference in people’s lives and admiring the good things that the people are able to do using their skills and talents.

Abigail Steedsman

Abigail Steedsman

Administrator

Abigail Steedsman joined SCAT in 2014. Her strong interest in Rural Development led to her becoming a permanent member of staff in 2015. Currently managing the administration of the Cape Town office as well as assisting the LDA’s with all admin queries, she believes in building good relationships, operating at a quick pace and providing excellent service. Abigail’s ambition lays in wanting to gain more knowledge about capacity building and field work.

Mzolisi Nombevu

Mzolisi Nombevu

Bookkeeper

Mzolisi Nombewu started working for SCAT in July 2018. He has a National Diploma in Internal Auditing from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He has worked in the NGO sector as bookkeeper for 10 years having previously worked for CMDS and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention. Mzolisi values the impact which the NGO sector makes in terms of improving and empowering people who live in disadvantaged communities.

our Work