Occupational Position: Theresia heads up the world-renowned best practice rehabilitation program at Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals (RBM).
After many family trips throughout southern Africa, Theresia pursued studies in natural sciences and completed a Doctorate in Zoology, specializing in landscape ecology. Exploring even more remote parts of southern Africa during her research, she experienced a variety of challenges where people and nature interact. Here, a deep-rooted love for the African bush developed into the desire to make a difference on the ground.
At RBM, Theresia manages over 3,000 hectares of rehabilitated land in a rural setting, she leads a team of five contractors that employ over 100 employees from local communities to rehabilitate mined land. Theresia played a critical role in ensuring the seamless startup of three of these companies as newly formed locally owned and managed businesses. Aside from operations, she advises the company regarding biodiversity concerns, breaking down walls between stakeholders to drive land use planning initiatives to secure sustainable futures for people and the environment.
MSc and PhD in Zoology, University of Pretoria; BSc & BSc Honours Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
2015 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow