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the future of our rural communities

Meet us

Members of the Board

Chairman of the Board

Sandesh Singh

Sandesh is the Director and Attorney at Singhs Attorneys and is the CEO of Labour Assist (Pty) Ltd, among several other roles and positions. His relationship with Topsy first started in 2002, with Topsy being a client of Labour Assist. In this way he got to learn about Topsy, the reason for its existence and the amazing support that it was providing to the people of Grootvlei. He believed with a full heart and mind, in what Topsy was doing for the forgotten people of Grootvlei. When he was asked to join their board some years later, there was absolutely no hesitation in doing so. It was his opportunity to drive Topsy’s agenda, in providing the essential care and support for the people of Grootvlei.

Board member

Rodney Waldneck

Rodney obtained his legal BA at Wits and then worked in South Africa in the labour relations field. His experience working with the Garment Workers Union in Johannesburg and employers in that related industry, included the planning and provision of medical and social services to majority population groups in the country. He obtained his MBA at City University in London and went on to work in both the public and private sectors and as an HR consultant. In the UK his work covered the planning and implementation of equal opportunity & diversity policies and programs, policy analysis, event management, conflict resolution, and devising training materials and programs. Much of this took place during his time at the UK’s Commission for Racial Equality. Working with volunteer organisations, is a passion for Rodney.

Board member

Ayn Brown

Ayn has many years of executive experience in the financial services sector, in various functions ranging from Human Resources, Sustainability and Health and Safety. As an amateur photographer she first became involved with the Topsy Foundation, more than 12 years ago and has been documenting their work through our evolution from HIV/AIDS focus to Community Health, to Early Childhood Development (ECD). A passionate advocate of ECD in South Africa and the empowerment of communities, Ayn has been a Director since 2017.

Board member

Andre Gilbertson

Andre’s experience and expertise lies in the Events Planning field, where she has been active for over 30 years. She has worked with many international and local celebrities. Her events and involvement range from launching fundraising for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust, to judging the SAMA Awards (South African Music Awards). She is a walker, passionate about her family, music and helping underprivileged children in South Africa.

Board member

Carolyn Sullivan

Carolyn is passionate about Topsy and it’s achievements. She feels, to truly make a difference in her homeland South Africa, we need to begin with our children and our women. Carolyn obtained a legal degree and spent six years in the legal world before the financial world beckoned and is privileged to have served as the Financial Manager at Topsy from 2004 to 2019. She is honoured to have been asked to join the board as a director in 2019.


Executive Director

Sarah Du Toit

Sarah is responsible for its strategic and operational direction and overall programme implementation in 3 districts in Mpumalanga. Sarah moved to and fell in love with South Africa in 2006.
Sarah has a BA Honours from the University of Exeter in Public Relations. Before joining The Topsy Foundation NPC, Sarah had a successful career in Advertising in London and Johannesburg. She arrived in South Africa in 2006. She worked for Ogilvy and Mather advertising agency in a Client Service role for four years. Topsy was a probono client of Ogilvy, and Sarah jumped at the chance to be involved as the Account Director.
After 18 months of volunteering with Topsy, Sarah knew that her heart was no longer in advertising and she wanted to do something more meaningful within the non-profit sector. Her skills translated nicely into a Business Development position within the Non-Profit Sector. In August 2019, after four years with Topsy, she was appointed as Executive Director.

General Manager

Marianna Pretorius

Marianna joined Topsy in 2023 with a wealth of experience in the field of Clinical and Community Health work and was part of the team that headed and managed the Advanced HIV/AIDS Clinic. Her passion for helping others is the key to the longevity of her career, believing that every person and their stories are significant. She was appointed Executive Director of Topsy in 2022. Before being appointed, she was the Programme Manager.

Financial Administration Manager

Dudu Zwane

Dudu started working at Topsy in 2002 as an Admin Clerk and moved to Senior Admin Clerk in 2006. She became a Financial Admin Clerk in 2014, responsible for processing and keeping track of Financial Transactions. With the dedicated training and mentoring from the Financial Manager at Topsy, Dudu was promoted to Financial Administration Manager in 2019. Her positive attitude and tireless energy help encourage others to work hard.

Head of Fundraising

Zinhle Lukhele

Zinhle’s journey with Topsy started in 2017 as a volunteer. Being part of an organisation that provides services to the vulnerable, particularly women and children, was her attraction to Topsy. In 2019, she officially worked as a Fundraising Assistant and, in January of 2022, became The Head of Fundraising. Since taking over the role, she has been steering the organisation to be more relatable and reachable using digital platforms. As one of the Non-Executive Directors of the Reaboka Foundation, her goal for the organisation is to be self-sustained while expanding its reach and empowering more women.

Project Manager

Meikie Mashinini

Meikie started volunteering at Topsy Foundation in February 2002 after completing her matric. Her hard work and dedication have seen her work her way up the organisation, from volunteering as a cleaner and Field Worker where she worked with patients with HIV/AIDS and TB- helping them with their vegetable gardens and assisting families with orphans to be the Project Manager. With Topsy’s assistance, she was able to obtain her Social Auxiliary Certificate in 2007.