Nishendra Moodley – Chair of the OBSID board Nishendra currently works with the South African national Treasury’s City Support Programme. Since 2015 he has worked as a City Governance Specialist supporting all eight metros in SA.
He also co-ordinates the national Treasury’s oversight and support relationship with Cape Town. he was a teenager
in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a civic, environmental and political activist in the Durban South Basin, in the context of severe pollution and political violence.
Nishendra joined the City of Cape Town municipality in 1998 to manage municipal transformation projects. In 2001 he joined Palmer Development Group (PDG), a medium sized public interest consulting firm. For most of his 15 years there he was a Board Director. he later became the Managing Director and then Chairperson of the Board until 2015. he has a Master’s degree in Governance, qualifications in Physics and Psychology, as well as a certificate in Urban Management and environmental Policy from IAAP (Paris).
He has worked on designing the SA local government system, monitoring and evaluation of local government performance and strategic planning and institutional transformation for municipalities.
He has a strong interest in decentralisation, institutional and organisational development, and strengthening of integrity and social accountability.
Nishendra has loved living in Observatory for 21 years, the last 17 in Low Street, with his wife Katharine McKenzie and their three kids.
He contributes to civil society campaigns and is vice chair of the School Governing Body of the Vista nova School
for Special needs. he was elected to the OBSID Board in December 2016 and as its chairperson in April 2017. He has recently co-authored a book called ‘Building a Capable State – Service Delivery in post-Apartheid SA’.
Nishendra would like to improve the OBSID’s contribution to urban management in Observatory, through more
creative strategies and partnerships, improved monitoring and evaluation and the strengthening of accountabilities internally and externally.
Gareth Leyman – Vice chair of the OBSID board of directors.
I relocated to Obs in 2000. Initially it took me a while to adjust to the neighbourhood, crime and large number of homeless persons living on the streets. I felt the need to enroll at the Chinese Martial arts Centre, which action ultimately saved my life. My teenage daughter came to live with me and for a number of years I was a single parent. In 2003, while escorting a resident home, we were attacked and I had to fight off the assault. I got stabbed in my left thigh, in the femoral artery and survived with the support of locals in Arnold Street. I was active in supporting the first attempt at reducing crime through Obzwatch and pre-runner to OBSID. I was a founding member of OBSID, where I have been the Chair of environmental issues and involved with social upliftment.
I believe in an inclusive society and think OBSID should be so too. Further interests include keeping bees, playing piano and chess. The OBSID environmental team planted the many sidewalk garden in Obs, most have blossomed. We have also had allotments, facilitated the current recycling program, and we are responsible for cleaning the streets of Obs. These are core activities which have developed and been rationalised. With a very small budget we have had an enormous impact! Environmental concerns are climate change, genetically modified product, shale gas fracking, plastic and chemical pollution, environmental and habitat destruction, organic food production, sustainability.
I propose the following Project for OBSID – fund and facilitate the harvesting of rainwater from the civic buildings such as the Obs library, the Metro training building and the community centre and utilise
this water for irrigation of gardens and washing facilities for homeless persons.
*The other members OBSID board will be featured in the next edition of ObsLife.