Edith Leeuta - CEO
With a strong background in human resources and communications, Edith already has hands-on experience of working in areas related to her role. She was instrumental in founding GR33N Africa, a not-for-profit organisation created to educate communities on sustainable environmental practices.
Prior to joining Fibre Circle, Edith was employed as senior human capital business partner at Standard Bank. She has also acted in both management and consultancy roles for several leading organisations, including Bidvest, Nedbank, First National Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Department of Science and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
Another significant project was setting up and implementing the human resources and key stakeholder framework for a subsidiary of New GX Capital, the largest material recovery facility in Gauteng.
She is regularly asked to provide her insight on subjects like human capital development and environmental sustainability on radio stations 702, SAfm, YFM and Power FM. She also headed up human resources management for Power FM.
Edith will not only be working with the team at Fibre Circle but an incredibly wide variety of government and industry stakeholders, including municipalities, timber growers, paper and paper packaging producers, importers, processors, end users, environmentalists, and recyclers.
Anele Sololo - Manager: Education and SMME Development
Anele Sololo is a vibrant and passionate member of the team, backed by her experience in education, training and skills development. Before joining the paper industry, her previous job entailed the development of learning materials for mill employees, which also means that she is no stranger to the industry. Her maths and science acumen was put to good work in her role in tutoring mill employees registered for the National Diploma of Pulp and Paper Diploma at Unisa. She spent four years within PAMSA and RecyclePaperZA as manager of recycling training, operations and promotions. In January 2022, she was appointed manager of education and SMME development for Fibre Circle.
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, 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 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 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 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. Lex 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 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 completed senior leadership programs at Michigan State University (USA), London Business School (UK) and INSEAD University (France). He holds an MDP Diploma (UNISA SBL) and an MSc degree (Liverpool University (UK).
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 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.