Rev’d Dr Jo Seoka
The Right Reverend Dr Johannes Thomas Seoka was born in August 1948 in KwaZulu-Natal Province. He was made Deacon in December 1974 and a year later he was ordained Priest. In 1980 he was invited by the Diocese of Johannesburg and moved to Soweto, where he became the rector of a multilingual and multi-cultural (seven ethnic groups) Parish of St Hilda’s. In 1981 he was seconded to take the responsibility of the Director of Urban Industrial Mission, an Ecumenical ministry program to people living and working in farms, factories and mines in South Africa.
He was awarded World Council of Churches scholarship to study theology at Chicago Theological Seminary, in 1986. After graduating with a Masters of Theology he registered for the Doctor of Ministry and thereafter joined the University of Chicago to read for the Masters of Arts on “Policy Dimensions for Social and Economic Change” which earned him a Masters of Arts degree.
On his return to South Africa in 1991 he pursued his interest of ministering to the workers in the work place with the Wilgespruit Fellowship Center – an Anglican initiative for ecumenical work, as Director of the Agency for Industrial Mission. Towards the end of 1994 he facilitated the merger of the Agency for Industrial Mission with the Interdenominational Committee for Urban and Industrial Mission and became its first Director.
In 1996 he was appointed Dean of St Alban’s Cathedral in the Diocese of Pretoria. And in 1998 he was elected bishop and consecrated as the tenth and first black Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pretoria.
In 1995 he worked with group of international church activists to establish the global network of churches for corporate responsibility that monitored how multinational companies behave and conduct their business in developing countries. He participated in the writing of the “Principles for global corporate Responsibility: Bench Marks for measuring Business Performance in 2003, which became a global tool for evaluating corporation’s behavior and conduct.
He subsequently founded the Bench Marks Foundation of Southern Africa for corporate Social Responsibility (BeFSA) which was launched in 2001 in Johannesburg.
In his capacity as the Liaison bishop for mission in Africa, he has been influential in reconciling the Provinces of Africa on the issues of human sexuality minimizing the conflict amongst the bishop in the continent. Again using his skills on conflict management and conflict resolution, acquired at both Harvard and University of Missouri respectively he negotiation peace discussions between Archbishop Ndungane and Akinola of Nigeria in 2004.
As a Deputy Chairperson of CAPA, he played and important role in encouraging debate between the Episcopal Church of America (ECUSA) and the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) – particularly on the matter of Same Sex Unions and gay clergy.
Most recently he has been influential in putting together a conference of bishops from the South and North hemisphere to mend relationships that were torn apart by ordination of gay and lesbian clergy in ECUSA. The conference will be held in Spain sponsored by Trinity Church, New York under the theme, “Walking to Emmaus” in July 2007.
Rod Bulman holds a BCom (UNISA), an MSocSci (Natal) and a PGCE (London).
After training as a teacher of Economics at the Institute of Education at the University of London, Rod taught at Estcourt High School for 5 years, before resigning to take an appointment (1980-1990), as Registrar of the Federal Theological Seminary of Southern Africa an ecumenical training institution in Imbali, Pietermaritzburg, preparing clergy for the mainline Protestant churches.
Between 1990 and 1995 he served as Executive Governor of Epworth School, which consists of a high, primary and pre-primary schools of Methodist foundation, in Pietermaritzburg.
In 1996 Rod founded Phelamanga, of which he is now an emeritus member. Phelamanga is a consultancy which specialises in public participation and environmental policy, development and planning.
He has served on numerous committee and Boards and is currently a member of the boards of both Ditikeni and Church Land Programme.
Joanne holds a PhD in Public Law from the University of Cape Town. The title of her study is “Women’s legal consciousness in a poor urban community: Finding order in and around the law”. She has been involved with SCAT since 1998 when she was employed as a fieldworker/trainer which was followed by a series of promotions to senior fieldworker/researcher in 2000, field manager in 2002 and communications director in 2004, before being appointed SCAT Director in 2006. Joanne took time out to do her Masters in Social Planning and Administration in 2011 with her thesis focusing on the “Financial sustainability of the non-profit sector in South Africa. At the request of the SCAT board she returned to SCAT in 2016 in order to bring stability to the organisation, which had experienced a number of leadership changes and significant funding losses. She is deeply committed to social justice and gender equality in South Africa.
Shafika Isaacs works as an international digital learning specialist, community builder and professional coach who focuses on social and environmental justice perspectives on digital learning, 4IR and skills development. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Practice in the Education Faculty at the University of Johannesburg. She provides technical support on digital learning and skills development to the National Education Collaboration Trust, UNESCO, Commonwealth of Learning, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) NEPAD, and on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Children to UNICEF. She also serves as a Friend of the Chrysalis Academy and Clear Mind International on trauma-informed embodied justice and well-being programmes for youth. She has worked on digital learning programs in many countries across the world and built and serviced numerous community and international organisations. She is currently a yoga teacher and practitioner in training, having completed a series of short courses on gender and reconciliation and trauma-informed yoga practice. She serves on the governing boards of global and local organisations and has published widely on digital learning in Africa. Shafika obtained a PhD in Education from the University of Johannesburg, a Master of Science degree in Science and Technology Policy as a Mandela Scholar at the University of Sussex and an Executive MBA with distinction at the University of Cape Town. In 2017 she was awarded the Woman of Stature Woman of the Year Award and in 2020 received the award for the most outstanding doctoral thesis by the South African Education Research Association (SAERA). As a Trustee of The Lewis Foundation, Shafika represents the Foundation on the Board of Active Shareholder.
Trenton Elsley is Executive Director of the Labour Research Service (LRS), established in 1986 as a non-profit labour service organisation. The LRS specialises in research, dialogue-building and developmental projects with the broad aim of strengthening civil society and a particular focus on the world of the work.
Trenton has a long-standing interest in social dialogue and corporate governance, with a specific interest in South African multinational companies with operational footprints in Africa. He is preoccupied with efforts to deepen thinking and practice that assesses the contribution made by multinationals to the value created across the whole of the economic, social and environmental context within which these companies operate.
Having completed his articles with one of the big four firms and successfully completing his studies at UCT in 1978, Mike Martin left South Africa for Botswana from where he completed his final qualifying exam for admission to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of South Afrcia.
Mike lived and worked in Zimbabwe through the heady days of the first decade of independence of that country, returning to South Africa in 1990.
He spent the next twenty years in the publishing industry in Johannesburg, first with the Mail and Guardian and finally with Jacana Media.