Dr. Sabie Surtee


Email: director@hers-sa.org.za

Sabie completed her Bachelor of Arts, and Honours degrees in applied psychology and industrial sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She received her Masters' degree in sociology at the University of Toronto, Canada. She graduated with a doctorate in Sociology from Wits University  where she became the first Black student to be awarded a PhD degree in the sociology department at Witwatersrand University.

She has gained extensive knowledge on South African labour legislation and its implementation through her employment at the Department of Labour  both in Pretoria and the Cape Town regional office.  Sabie was appointed as the Employment Equity (EE) Manager at the University of Cape Town

Sabie graduated with a Certificate in Coaching from the Centre for Coaching at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.  She left UCT as a permanent member of staff in 2009, to use pursue her passion to conduct social science and organisational forms of research and to offer coaching services and consultancy advice in the areas of employment equity and diversity in organisations. As the lead researcher of a team, during 2009 she conducted EE research in the Western Cape for Business Unity SA (BUSA), where the EE practices of 13 organisations based in the Western Cape were reviewed and evaluated to identify barriers to EE that are being encountered by these businesses. She also served as an EE consultant at UCT, for the Health Sciences faculty, the Commerce faculty, the Department of Student Affairs and the HR Department. Her other clients include non-profit organisations such as Communicare.

Since 2010, Sabie has served as the Director of HERS-SA. She attended a HERS Summer Institute in Denver during July 2011, and the Wellesley Institute in Boston during November 2016, as a participant, co-facilitator, to benchmark its programs and to strengthen relations between the two Chapters.


Firoza Patel

Consultant:  Special Projects

Firoza served as the Director of Human Resources Development at the University of South Africa (UNISA) for the past 10 years up until December 2016.  She has been in Higher Education in total for the past 20 years.  Prior to joining Higher Education, she has worked in the teaching profession where she has worked as a teacher, Principal and Chief Education Specialist in the Early Childhood Development Sector.  She started in Higher Education as a Lecturer and later moved on to become an Academic Manager and then joined UNISA.  She is passionate about promoting Women in Leadership, particularly in the Education sector.  She has served on a number of Boards and Committees and is actively involved in areas of Transformation, Leadership and Gender issues.  She has been awarded a number of international accolades namely, in 2014 the HRD Global Award for Talent Management, awarded in India;  in 2015 the IFTDO (International Federation of Training & Development Organizations) Best HRD Practice Award in Malaysia; and in 2016 the HRD Global Super Women Achiever Award in India.  She has also been listed on the Global 100 most influential HR people list.  Prior to leaving UNISA Firoza also served as the Vice-Chairperson of the HERS-SA Board.  As of February 2017, Firoza works part-time as a consultant for HERS-SA where her portfolios included stakeholder relations and working on special projects.


Renelle Terblanche

Finance Officer

Email:  finance.hers@gmail.com

Renelle  is currently pursuing her PhD in Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University. She has a passion for nature (especially animal life) which is evident in her research interests of wildlife conservation; endangered species; the neo-liberalisation of nature; human–wildlife conflict; and strongly believes in the need to establish a working, interdisciplinary relationship between wildlife managers and social scientists. In addition to this, Renelle works as a student assistant in the same department by assisting in numerous roles including coordinating third-year level modules on political sociology and social science research methods and general administration.  Renelle joins the HERS-SA team as its Finance Officer as of September 2016 and will also support the HERS-SA team annually with events management at  HERS-SA ACADEMIES.

Amanda Rohner

Finance & Procurement Officer

Email:  info.hers@gmail.com

Amanda joined the events management team for the 2014 ACADEMY and joined HERS-SA as the Finance and Procurement officer on a part-time basis as of October 2014.  She is dedicated to provide service with zeal and has extensive customer service experience in various sectors.  She is also passionate about education and learning and is currently involved as a facilitator to advance the reading and writing skills of young learners.