Short History

Indigo started as an association of practitioners in 2000. Indigo has been a registered Non-profit organisation since 2006, with its head office in Nieuwoudtville, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.

Indigo aims to link grassroot processes to the national and international policy levels.  Our activities include working on learning processes, focusing on natural resource management, gender, biodiversity and climate change. 

We learn all our lives… if we stop learning, we stop living.

Community member, Suid Bokkeveld

Our Focus

We strive to combine social justice with conservation – facilitated in a learning process that ultimately leads to empowerment and increased resilience in a fast changing world.

Our team

Shannon Brandt


Areefa Tietis

Financial Manager

Albert Koopman

Programme Manager: Biodiversity

Elin Lorimer

Programme Manager: Adaptation

Penelope Price

Project Manager: Adaptation Network CSO SEED Project

Sinovuyo Mbobo

Project Officer: Adaptation Network

Danwill Beukes

Project Officer

Marlene Witbooi

Office Manager

Bettina Koelle

Associate and Board member

Siyabonga Myeza

Associate and Board member

Rhoda Malgas

Associate and board member

Eleanor Slabbert


Danzel Januarie


Candice Arendse


Board of Directors

Indigo development & change NPC is a registered non profit organisation (NPC as under South African legislation) and governed by a board of four directors.

Board members are:

  • Rhoda Malgas (Chair)
  • Siyabonga Myeza (Vice Chair)
  • Bettina Koelle (Treasurer)
  • Shannon Brandt (Secretary)

Rhoda Malgas (Chair) joined Indigo development & change as a staff member towards the end of her postgraduate studies at UCT in 2005. Her MSc in Botany had as its focus the sustainable harvesting of wild rooibos in the Suid Bokkeveld –  a study for which she relied heavily on the input of small-scale producers in the region. Rhoda made her home in Nieuwoudtville between 2005 and 2008, serving as a Member of the Board since its inception in 2006. Since her move back to Cape Town, Rhoda has taken up a lecturing position with the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology at Stellenbosch University. She now lectures on the subjects that she distilled from her experiences during her postgraduate studies: community based natural resource management, sustainable agriculture, sustainable management of terrestrial species. Her interest in Social-Ecological Systems (SES’s) and the relationships between people and their natural environments still form the core of her academic interests.

Siyabonga Myeza (Vice Chair) graduated in conservation and joined the Indigo board in 2019. He has been working in the environmental sectors with the Environmental Monitoring Group for many years – first based in the local office in Nieuwoudtville and currently based in the EMG head office in Cape Town. 

Bettina Koelle (Treasurer) graduated with a Master degree at the Free University of Berlin (Germany) in 1997 and has been working as a development practitioner in the field for more than 15 years. With a strong passion for participatory approaches she has supported the development of various participatory methodologies to support an action research approach linking grassroots processes to global debate, specifically focusing on linking local adaptation action to the climate negotiations and the IPCC process by providing input and case studies from the field. In this context her focus has been on marginalized groups and especially women. 

Bettina was the director of Indigo for 11 years, from 2006-2017. 

Shannon Brandt (Secretary ) has been a staff member of Indigo development & change since the early days. With a strong passion for conservation and environmental education, Shannon developed the climate change programme within Indigo, and is director of Indigo since 2017. Shannon is also a keen videographer and is facilitating various processes using video as a tool in climate change adaptation. 

Engaging on Climate using a systems perspective, linking the local learning to global policy processes is key.

Bettina Koelle, Board member
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