Management team

Francois Marais web

Francois Marais – Business development manager

Francois Marais brings with him a wealth of experience in the industry. He aims to use his many years of knowledge and expertise to advance separation at source and the recovery and recycling of paper, packaging and liquid packaging board by raising awareness, particularly among consumers, of re-use, recovery and recycling. He has an enviable track record that includes senior production, marketing and materials management positions at several major organisations, including Nampak, Bidvest, the Waste Group and, until recently, Polyco, an industry body engaged in creating infrastructure for the recovery, recycling and beneficiation of polyolefin plastic materials.



Dinga Mncube - Chairman

Dinga Mncube has worked in both public and private forestry sectors for more than 30 years. He began his career as a forester and rose to the position of managing director of Sappi Forests South Africa and Swaziland, before heading up the local unit of Sappi Fine Paper. Dinga has had the unique experience of working across the value chain, from nursery to the final pulp and paper product. He was privileged to oversee Sappi’s ‘outgrower’ project and was instrumental in introducing B-BBEE to the company through enterprise development, preferential procurement, skills development and ownership. In addition, he was part of the committee that negotiated, drafted and gazetted the Forest Sector Code and served two terms overseeing its implementation. He has a Diploma in Forestry (Fort Cox), a BSc in Forest Management (Washington State University), an MSc in Forest Products (University of Idaho), an MCom in Business Management (University of Johannesburg), a Graduate Diploma in Company Direction (Graduate Institute of Management and Technology) and has participated in senior executive programmes at Harvard and Wits.


Jane Molony

Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa, has been involved in the pulp and paper industry since 1996 – initially as publisher and editor of a trade journal and later as executive director of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry in Southern Africa (TAPPSA). Her experience encompasses print and publishing, packaging, recycling, renewable energy, climate change and carbon tax. From 2017-2019, she served as president of the International Council for Forest and Paper Associations, which represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations. Jane acts as a representative for the paper industry, locally and globally, and is responsible for the management of pre-competitive activities affecting the industry. Locally, these include education and skills development, environmental and sustainability issues, legislation, research and recycling. In addition to serving on the Forest Sector Charter Council between 2008 and 2015, Jane chaired the South Africa Book Development Council for seven years. Jane currently sits on the board of the Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority.

Asha Chhita

Asha Chhita

Asha Chhita is joint CEO of the Golden Era Group of Companies and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Actuarial Science. She also has a Master of Science in Printing and Packaging Science. She has been with the group for more than 15 years and has seen its range grow to include folding cartons, corrugated cases, flexibles, tinplate food cans and aluminium beverage cans.

Raymond Dube

Raymond Dube

Raymond Dube is managing director of Nampak Liquid Cartons where he was previously general manager operations. He has more than three decades of experience in the manufacturing environment and has a National Higher Diploma in Chemical Engineering. He has vast experience in the FMCG sector and has managed more than 300 subordinates in unionised environments. Raymond completed the Management Development Programme at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Lex Gutsche

Lex Gutsche

Lex Rowland Gutsche has been a dairy farmer for 36 years and founded Woodlands Dairy in Humansdorp in 1995. He is CEO of the company and executive chairman of the board of directors. The company acquired Fairfield Dairy in 2017. Rex is a trustee of the Gutsche family trusts and serves on several boards and committees. These include Milk South Africa and the South African Milk Processors’ Organisation.


Nat Maelane

Nat Maelane is a seasoned supply chain professional with 37 years’ experience in multisector private industries and state-owned enterprises. He has developed and implemented supply chain best practices that have contributed to the competitiveness and sustainability of these entities. Nat has been extremely active in the professionalisation of supply chain practitioners and was a founding member of the Institute of Purchasing South Africa and subsequently the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply – South Africa (CIPSSA). It was during his tenure at CIPSSA that he served as a board member and chairman of the B-BBEE Education Trust. Nat has served on the boards of Procurement Best Practices (Pty) Ltd, Sappi South Africa and CIPSSA. He is currently the chief procurement officer and an executive committee member at Sappi South Africa, a board member of ECIP SPV1 (Pty) Ltd and PAMDEV NPC. His valued contributions will be in the areas of corporate governance, strategic direction and transformation.

Hugh Thompson

Hugh Thompson

Hugh Thompson became managing director of Mondi Packaging’s paper manufacturing division in 2009 following stints as chief financial officer of Mpact and managing director of the company’s plastics division. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the packaging sector and was previously senior vice-president: corporate finance at Anglo American South Africa. He holds a BCompt honours degree, a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting from Unisa and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. He has also completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme.