I am a twelfth generation South African and the product of a country that has been in virtual constant transition for three and a half centuries. I have thus learned how to harness the power of change by seeking to understand the cumulative wisdom of these past twelve generations and applying that to contemporary situations. Professionally I focus my attention on resources, or more specifically the need to overcome water and energy constraints to our future economic growth and prosperity, both as a country and the entire SADC region. I am therefore an environmentally aware person – a Green Person – merely because I believe that we are reaching limits to our current developmental approaches and will be forced to make changes in the near future, whether we like it or not. By understanding and anticipating these, I assist winning organizations to stay ahead of the game by isolating fundamental drivers at work and by identifying emerging opportunities. This is harnessing the power of change that I speak of. I had an unusual upbringing as the son of a colourful man who had learned to speak isiZulu as a first language and who was a Springbok sportsman and an avid outdoorsman with a profound respect for nature. This exposed me directly to the richness of traditional African culture and the great outdoors from an early age, fostering in me a love for science, African culture, oral history and knowledge. I thus grew up being exposed to places like the Okavango River basin, having spent three distinct phases of my life there: as a child and the son of an outdoorsman, I experienced it in its pristine condition; as a soldier fighting a war that few wanted or understood, I saw it as a theatre of the Cold War that got very hot indeed; and as a scientist seeking to understand how shared natural resources can become engines of growth and a way to heal the divisions of the past by engaging in post-conflict reconstruction, I saw it as a place of hope and renewal.
My website reflects these different facets of my life.
I am a trained scientist specializing in water resource management as a strategic issue with a robust publication record. I invite you to visit the page called My Scientific Publications to get more information about this facet of my life. Here I list all of the books, chapters, reports and scientific publications I have ever produced, along with a few downloadable products where the original is not copyright protected by the publisher.
I am also a professional speaker and consultant, so I invite you to visit the page called My Professional Portfolio, to get an understanding of the range of products and services I offer to any prospective client.
Having grown up in the African cultural tradition of respect for oral history, I invite you to visit the page called My Family History. This gives a detailed account of the evolution of my family from the 1500’s, through the very first settlers to come to the Cape in 1652, right to the present. This tells the history of how so many famous South African families are now interwoven - Cloete, Jordaan, Joubert, Pistorius, van der Merwe, Turton, Botha, Pretorius, van Rooyen and more – enmeshed like strands in a rope that we can now call that shared South African cultural experience. In preparing this I have contextualized that family genealogy by immersing it into the history of the day. It also contains a digital copy of portions of my personal memoir entitled Shaking Hands with Billy, which details my life experience from childhood, through the tumultuous times known as the Armed Struggle, and into the birth of our young democracy of which I am so very proud to have been a part. This memoir also contains elements of the only written history of a security force Unit that few know of, in which I had the privilege to serve as an officer. I hope I have done that Unit justice in presenting this history. But above all this memoir speaks of respect for the sacrifices made by all sides during the turbulent birth of our young democracy, and it seeks to contribute to nation-building by making known many of the aspects of our complex history, that have been shrouded in secrecy for too long. Shaking Hands with Billy is about to be published by Just Done Publications and will be available in most book stores shortly.
I am also a writer and an amateur poet and I invite you to visit the page called My Short Stories. Here I try to capture elements of my own life and experience and present them in short stories or poems that speak of the inner workings of my mind and my soul. I believe this reflects the experiences, hopes, triumphs and challenges of an entire generation of South Africans, so I share this in the belief that it might make a difference to somebody somewhere. I hope to present more of this writing as time allows me.
Should you need to know more about my academic qualifications, then I invite you to visit the About Me page, which contains my updated curriculum vitae and other details not covered in the rest of the website.
Finally I invite any interested person to Contact Me. If you wish to contact me for purposes of genealogy, South African history or environmental matters, then please contact me directly, but if you wish to contact me for a professional speaking or facilitation need you might have, then please direct that enquiry to my management agent.
I thank you for your interest and I hope you have an enjoyable and fruitful experience as you navigate your way around my website.