Expert panel

Our advisory panel comprises influential subject-matter experts in the fields of public health, nutrition and food security, small business development, job creation and economic growth. They help and guide the development and rollout of our campaigns – supporting the work we do to #MakeSAbetter.

Prof. Linda-Gail Bekker

Expert panel member

Prof Linda-Gail Bekker is the Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town and Chief Research Officer of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation. She is a physician scientist and infectious disease specialist. Her research interests include programmatic and action research around antiretroviral roll out and TB integration, prevention of HIV in women, youth and MSM.

She has led numerous investigator-driven studies in HIV treatment, prevention and tuberculosis. She is a past president of the International AIDS Society and served as the International Co-Chair of the 9th IAS Conference and 22nd International AIDS Conference and Co-Chaired the Research 4 Prevention Conference that was held in January 2021.

Prof Bekker has also recently been involved in a number of COVID19 vaccine trials and co-leads the Sisonke Phase 3B study which has seen the vaccination of 500 000 health care workers in South Africa.

Andrew Boraine

Expert panel member

Andrew Boraine has been involved in South Africa’s political, local government, urban and economic development processes for the past 45 years. He is the founder CEO of the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP). During the Covid-19 pandemic, the EDP has initiated and convened the Western Cape NGO-Government Food Relief Coordination Forum to address hunger in poor and vulnerable communities. His previous roles include chief executive of the Cape Town Partnership (CTP), chairman of the South African Cities Network (SACN), and City Manager of the City of Cape Town. As Deputy Director General for Local Government in the national Department of Constitutional Development (1995–1997), he helped to draft the local government chapter of the new South African Constitution.

Andrew is Adjunct Professor with the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Associate Professor with the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University and a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington.

Prof. Julian D. May

Expert panel member

Julian May has been the Director of the NRF-DSI Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa since 2014, and holds the UNESCO Chair in African Food Systems. Before this he was the South African Research Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has a PhD in Development Studies and has edited 7 books and published over 90 academic papers on poverty and inequality in books and academic journals.rnrnHis current research focuses on food and nutrition security, childhood malnutrition and food systems in secondary cities and small towns. He serves on the Council of the Academy of Science in South Africa (ASSAf) and has served on the South African Statistics Council and the Technical Advisory Group of the World Bank’s International Comparison Program. He has participated in international expert groups and has been a researcher with local and international universities.

Dr. Thami Mazwai

Expert panel member

Dr Thami Mazwai is a former journalist and editor. He has a Doctorate in Commerce from the University of Pretoria in entrepreneurship and small business development and headed a small business task team for the National Planning Commission. He has also served on the council of the National Small Business Advisory Committee and was special advisor to the Minister of Small Business Development. Dr Mazwai’s academic career includes Professor in Entrepreneurship at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Fort Hare, and resident executive at the Wits Business School.rnrnDr Thami Mazwai has spent decades understanding and promoting small business and said in 2014 that it was because of the legacy of the past that he had decided to devote his life to small business development “because that’s the only way in which you can really catapult people into a productive life and being part of the economy”.

Dr. Chantell Witten

Expert panel member

Currently an academic with the University of the Free State, Dr Chantell Witten has more than 25 years’ experience as a dietitian and nutrition expert. She has served with UNICEF, the South African Medical Research Council, Helen Keller International/Bangladesh and Higher Educations at the University of the Free State, the North-West University, the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape.

Chantell has served since its inception as the Nutrition Lead for the coalition network, the South African Civil Society for Women’s, Adolescents’ and Children’s Health (SACSoWACH), as a member of the National Department of Health’s Ministerial Committee for the Morbidity and Mortality of Children under 5 years (CoMMiC) since 2015, and as the Chairperson for the Child Health Priorities Association for 2020-2021.

Dr Witten was the nutrition lead on the editorial team for Child Gauge 2020 which is focused on food and nutrition security for children in South Africa