Senior Management Team

Senior Management Team | Board of Directors
Photo of John de Wit

John de Wit

Managing Director

John is the co-founder and Managing Director of The Small Enterprise Foundation. After spending four years running the microcredit operations of the Get Ahead Foundation, from 1987 to 1990, John decided to launch his own organization in one of the poorest provinces of South Africa. He was convinced that the solution for the poverty in his country would be found in one of two methods of increasing income – mainstream employment or through small enterprise development. John decided to tackle the latter as he believed that if he helped people to start businesses, they will in turn be able to create jobs for others. As he developed his model, John drew lessons from the Grameen Bank and tailor-made it for the South African context.

John holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and has served as a member of the Policy Advisory Group of CGAP, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest, as a trustee of ChoiCe, a South African health sector NGO which focuses on home-based care for people living with HIV/AIDS and TB and as a board member of the Association of Pro-Poor Microfinance Institutions of South Africa.

John is an Ashoka Fellow. In 2012 he received The International Alliance for Women World of Difference 100 Award in the category Champion of Women's Economic Empowerment. He has presented lectures at the University of California, San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University, and has chaired discussions at numerous conferences around the world. John is fluent in English and Afrikaans.

Photo of Charl van Vuuren

Charl van Vuuren

Finance Manager

Charl joined SEF as the Finance Manager in 2013. Prior to his appointment at SEF he was the Financial Director and acting Managing Director of Serina Kaolin from 1993 to 2007. He also held Finance Manager positions at Cape Cookies, Unsgaard & Samson, and Helluva Holdings.

As SEF’s Finance Manager, it is Charl’s responsibility to manage all financial affairs of the business including its financial wellbeing, cash flow, reporting as well as the safeguarding of assets.

Charl holds a B.Accounting from the University of Stellenbosch and an Honours B.Compt. from UNISA. He is a Chartered Accountant and speaks Afrikaans and English.

Photo of Ruth Mushwana

Ruth Mushwana

Regional Manager Expansion

Ruth joined SEF as a Development Facilitator (loan officer) in 2000. In 2004 she became a Sales Person before moving into a Trouble Shooter position a year later. Since then she was promoted from Branch Manager to Zonal Manager and finally to Regional Manager in 2013. Ruth manages four zones and 18 branches in the North West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces. She ensures compliance with targets and SEF procedures, and oversees the timeline for the collections of payments, disbursements and applications for loans, amongst others.

Ruth has a diploma in Office Administration from the Northern Training Trust. She is fluent in English, Sotho, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Setswana, isiZulu and IsiXhosa.

Photo of Sydwell Tshimbana

Sydwell Tshimbana

Regional Manager Eastern Cape

Sydwell graduated from Hoxani College of Education with a diploma in education before he joined SEF in 2000 as a Development Facilitator (loan officer). Prior to becoming the Regional manager for the Eastern Cape province, he worked as a Field Supervisor, Branch Manager and Zonal Manager. He received a Microfinance Management Certificate from the University of Pretoria in 2011 as well as a certificate in Human Resource Management from the University of South Africa in 2012. He is currently studying part-time for a BCm Management degree from the University of South Africa.

Sydwell’s role as a Regional manager involves ensuring that SEF’s expansion in the Eastern Cape province runs smoothly. He supervises Development Facilitators, Branch Managers and Zonal Managers. Apart from his native Xitsonga, Sydwell is fluent in IsiXhosa, Sepedi, Tshivenda and English.

Photo of Moses Ngamba

Moses Ngamba

Regional Manager Limpopo

Moses joined SEF in 1998 as a Development Facilitator (loan officer). Later he became a Branch Manager, then Zonal Manager before starting his Regional manager position in 2008. He graduated from Hoxani College in 1995 and obtained a microfinance certificate from the University of Pretoria. Prior to joining SEF he worked as a bookkeeper for a rural development project in his community for two years.

As the Regional manager, Moses runs the operations department in Limpopo and supervises Development Facilitators, Branch Managers and Zonal Managers. His native language is Xitsonga but he is also fluent in Sotho, Tshivenda and English.

Photo of Esido Mushwana

Esido Mushwana

Research and Development Manager

Esido joined SEF as a Development Facilitator (loan officer) in 2001. Since then he held various positions in the Operations department: Branch Manager, Zonal Manager and Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. In 2012 he was appointed to Research and Development Manager, where he is responsible for the Social Performance Management of the organisation, progress measurement of SEF’s clients as well as the management of SEF’s adult financial education programme, amongst other projects.

Esido completed two courses on Supervising, Managing and Developing Staff of Microfinance Institutions, and Product Development and Strategic Marketing for MFIs. He also obtained a microfinance certificate from the University of Pretoria in 2011. Esido is fluent in Xitsonga, Tshivenda and English.

Photo of Byron Henning

Byron Henning

IT Manager

As IT Manager, Byron leads SEF’s information technology strategy and manages projects and services across the IT spectrum. He joined SEF in September 2005 as an MIS Officer with the primary focus of improving the organisation’s management information systems and technology infrastructure. Prior to this role, he worked as an IT Professional at an IT company providing various services including the design and implementation of IT solutions. Byron is passionate about technology and computing, and has more than 18 years of experience in information technology. He is fluent in English and Afrikaans.

Photo of Kgabo Hlaisi

Kgabo Hlaisi

Human Resources Manager

Kgabo joined SEF in 2006 as a Trainee Field Supervisor after completing a Graduate Scheme at the University of Limpopo. A year later she became the Assistant to the Human Resource Manager and was promoted to Human Resource Manager in 2011. In her position she manages the staff of the entire organisation, employee wellness, industrial relations, recruiting, and the management of the Training department. Kgabo holds a B.Com. with Honours in Business Management from the University of Limpopo. She also successfully completed UNISA programmes in Human Resources in 2011 as well as Industrial and Organisational Behaviours in 2013. Kgabo fluently speaks English and Sepedi.

Photo of Eric Tshia

Eric Tshia

Quality Assurance Manager

Eric first joined SEF in 1996 as a Loans Administrator. Over time he served as Internal Audit Officer, Senior Internal Audit Officer and Zonal Manager before starting his position as the Quality Assurance Manager in 2004. His duties include, amongst others, the supervision of the Quality Assurance team leaders and ensuring the quality of audits done by the Quality Assurance department.

Eric graduated from Sebalamakgolo High School in 1992 and completed courses in Internal Auditing from Technikon Northern Transvaal. Eric is fluent in Sepedi, Setswana, Sesotho, English and Afrikaans.