Meet the team

John Thorne
Role: Chairman of the Conservancy

John manages SouthSouthNorth’s consulting practice. He has been coming to Vermaaklikheid since he was a child and is passionate about conserving the environment and the development of sustainable small and medium enterprises and job creation. John graduated as a Doctor from University of Cape Town in 1985 and  completed an MBA at UCT in 2000.  


Anthony Black
Vice Chair

Anthony Black is Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He holds degrees from the universities of Cape Town, Sussex (United Kingdom) and Natal (Durban). His main fields of expertise are development economics, trade and industrial policy. Anthony has been a long-standing ​​visitor to Vermaaklikheid and owns a farm in the village.


Carl Wesselink
Role: Treasurer

Carl is a Director of SouthSouthNorth and SSN Consulting (PTY) Ltd. He previously worked in the human rights and development field and is an attorney admitted to practise in the High Court of South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts. Carl owns a farm in the village and is passionate about conserving the natural environment. 


Abie Pretorius
Role: Project Manager

Abie was born in Riversdal and moved to Vermaaklikheid fifteen years ago. He has worked previously for the SAPS in Riversdal, and for Cape Nature. Abie is a community leader who is passionate about supporting local youth to improve their lives and make a difference to their community. He is employed by the Conservancy to manage the various projects underway.