Facilitation & Development Unit

Community Facilitation

Our community facilitators are experts in mediating community conflict and facilitating complex multi-stakeholder dialogues and processes and translating policy and programmes into tangible community-based results that foster social cohesion. Our team members have an impressive track record of service in conflicted communities throughout South Africa and have developed deep insight and understanding into the complex dynamics and drivers of community conflict.

Our team of mediators and community development facilitators are specialists at:

  •  Crisis interventions in social conflict – where effective communication has broken down we specialise in facilitating the re-establishment of meaningful dialogue processes
  • Company community disputes
  • Taxi industry violence
  • Xenophobic violence
  • Environment, housing, land and service delivery conflict resolution
  • Brokering community conflict resolution systems for local stakeholders
  • Election monitoring and process management
  • Community based training, assessments and evaluations
  • Community research, facilitation and development projects

We Mediate & Develop.

Geoffrey Mamputa (Maduna)


Geoffrey is a seasoned mediator, facilitator and peace maker – he has been involved in mediating numerous community service delivery protests in different communities nationally, interventions to end xenophobia attacks against non-South Africans in different communities, mediating taxi conflict and more recently at Delft. He also has extensive experience in mediation of conflict situations at tertiary institutions (Fees Must Fall) and has trained peace monitors who act as an early warning and de–escalation mechanism in communities.

He currently chairs the Rapid Response Task Team at one of the local tertiary institutions. The RRTT is a body tasked with ensuring effective implementation of the agreement reached between students and the institution.

He is also working in Grabouw on the inter-community conflict emanating from the development of  Imiyezo school which has pitted different communities and sectors within the community, against each other.  This intervention is on behalf of the Departments of Public Works and Education.

Malibongwe Sopangisa (Zizi)


Malibongwe is gifted community mediator, facilitator and peacemaker. Following a background as a union organiser during the eighties he founded the Nyanga Peace Centre and from there he became a central and respected peacemaker in the Western Cape through the 1990’s transition to democracy. He was a key member of the Regional Peace Committee and facilitated the ‘normalization’ of relations between numerous police stations (bastions of apartheid) and effected communities. He also facilitated the ending of the politically motivated taxi wars and remains a key resource and intervener in taxi disputes. He worked for many years with the Development Action Group as a community development facilitator and is a longstanding member of the Independent Electoral Commission’s mediation panel. He is experienced in intervening in xenophobic violence and re-integration programs. As volunteer he runs youth intervention programmes in Nyanga focused on youth vulnerable to substance abuse and gangs.

Nazeem Hendricks (Pepe)


Pepe has worked as a seasoned community development practitioner with corporates, government entities, academic institutions and civil society organisations. He has served on local and global platforms in humanitarian development, conflict resolution and peace-making interventions. Having worked for many years as an educationalist and accredited training assessor, Pepe has developed specialist knowledge and skill in leadership and management, community development and adult education Qualifications and learnerships (including developing and facilitating SETA-accredited courses), as well as lecturing, mentoring and coaching. His additional skills include research, advocacy, project management, communication, networking, marketing, capacity building, organisational development, critical reviews and youth development.

Stefan Snel


Stef is a creative and innovative thinker, a diversely experienced facilitator and mediator in community conflict and development, multiparty disputes and organisational problem solving. Moving from management in FMCG environment he co-founded UMAC, a civil society organisation tracking security force atrocities and later facilitating democratic transition though the late eighties and nineties. During that time Stef was instrumental in supporting the work of the Goldstone Commission, National Peace Accord, Network of Independent Monitors and Independent Electoral Commission. Today he practices as a multiparty mediator and in development facilitation. Recent assignments have inlcluded the development of course in Company Community Mediation in Complex Environments (ACCESS facility & UCT Business School), Assessment for Higher Education South Africa, mediation and closure of UNHCR refugee camp, mediation between farmers of the Vredefort Dome and the Department of Environmental Affairs. He is an accredited mediator with Department of Environmental Affairs, member of the ACCESS facility and serves on the IEC mediation panel.

Fatima Swartz


Fatima worked for many years as an educator, as well as in various cross-cultural environments on issues of conflict transformation, organisational development, identity and diversity, mediation and social healing. She has developed, coordinated and managed peace-building programs in South Africa and abroad. She also has extensive training, facilitation, and curriculum development experience. Fatima was a key trainer for the Coalition for Peace in Africa and a core trainer for Non-Violent Peace Force on Unarmed Civilian Protection and worked as a mediator/facilitator within the transport conflict arena, as well as with the IEC, in the Western Cape. More recently she has been exploring social healing modalities focusing on the narratives of young people and woman, and has developed a keen interest on issues of heritage and working with memory. She is chairperson of the board of ACTION for Conflict Transformation and serves on the advisory board of the Syrian Mobaderoon Network. 

Nomvuyo Simethu (Vuvu)


Vuvu is passionate about youth and community development. She views her experience of growing up in a township as providing her with a deep understanding of the tough lived realties that youth and local citizen are exposed to on a daily basis across South Africa.

Through her work as a freelance facilitator, Vuvu has acquired a wide range of knowledge, skills, and experience: she designed a Life Skills Programme for youth development in Khayelitsha(CWD); taught students for Contact Centre Nodes (MTG; taught at Woolworths Business Practice and, Triple L Academy) ICB programme for the Department of Social Development; acted as the Project Coordinator for Xenophobia and Gender Survey (HRMC); the Project Manager for a House Audit (DAG) for the unblocking of blocked housing projects in Khayelitsha. More recently Vuvu provided training, coaching and mentoring support for DAG’s Development Facilitator Youth Internship Programme in Khayelitsha. Vuvu also has extensive experience and knowledge on Participatory Action Planning for informal settlement upgrading

Her commitment to community based approaches/projects and workplace learning is reflected in some of her work and interests:  facilitation for different SETAs (TETA, WRSETA); community mobilisation using a participatory and people centred approach; informal settlement upgrading; gender education training and development through different SETA’s; stakeholder management and public participation; and, community development facilitation.

Josette Cole


Josette brings more than 40 years of development, NGO, public sector, policy formulation, para-legal, mentoring, and community-based experience and strategic skills to IR Change Community Facilitation and Development Unit.  Her knowledge and experience derived from years of organizing, working with, and undertaking research (policy-related, community-based, action-research) in urban and rural communities across South Africa for a range of public sector and NGO institutions. She has also served in senior management positions; built a range of institutions; and, is well known for her design of innovative projects and programmes to address diverse development challenges. The combination of her design and strategic thinking, analytical acumen, writing, and grassroots experience adds invaluable knowledge and expertise to the Community Facilitation Service. Josette currently serves as an Honorary Associate on the Archive and Public Culture Research Collective at the University of Cape Town and is a Member of the Dean’s EBE (Engineering and Built Environment) Advisory Board at the University of Cape Town.

Boyisile Mafilika


Boyisile brings a sound understanding and solid experience in community organizing, meeting and workshop facilitation, and research to the Community Facilitation and Development Unit at IR Change.  Boyisile’s knowledge and skills are derived from years of community-based experience as a fieldworker, project officer, researcher, and Ward Councillor. During his tenure as a previous Ward Councillor in Philippi Boyisile gained invaluable on-the-job experience of the challenges facing local government and citizens in the South-east Metro and Cape Metro. During his work at the Development Action Group (DAG), as a Project Support Officer for its housing and internship (youth development) programme, Boyisile was exposed to the challenges facing affordable housing delivery, informal settlement upgrading, and played a key role as a role model and mentor to the youth in Khayelitsha. In summary, Boyisile brings invaluable skills, knowledge, experience and added value to the work of the Community Facilitation and Development Unit.