2017 03 24 GBF: Meet your team!

24th March 2017

While the mission of the Grahamstown Business Forum is to create and sustain a supportive and enabling business environment in Grahamstown and surrounding areas, the organisation aims to

  1. represent all businesses and business-owners across the Makana Local Municipality irrespective of nationality, culture, race, gender, age or political affiliation.
  2. promote the interests of business in the Makana Municipal area.
  3. promote ethical, legal, socially conscious and environmentally friendly business practices amongst our members.
  4. encourage networking and information sharing amongst our members in order to foster business relationships.
  5. attract investment and new business, and support business development and entrepreneurial activity.


At the Annual General Meeting on 16 March the following individuals were elected on the Management Committee of the GBF.



Richard Gaybba

Richard Gaybba will be chairing the Management Committee for the next two years.

Qualified in hospitality management, Richard was a partner in two successful restaurants in the Western Cape for a number of years before he joined the family business IPC Properties Grahamstown.

Richard’s vision for the GBF is to build the organisation’s membership and build on the relationship between Makana and the GBF.

Steven van der Merwe fills the position of Vice-Chair and will also be heading the Clean and Safe Sub-Committee.

A qualified Mercedes-Benz Diagnostic Technician, Steven worked for 14 years in the UK before returning to his hometown to run the Hyundai/Lens Auto Repairs family business. Steven returned with his wife and two boys, who are all loving being back under African skies.

Steven is passionate about Grahamstown and is keen to see the CBD develop such that both new business and customers find it attractive and safe.


Steven van der Merwe


Trevor Davies

To ensure continuity, Trevor Davies will stay on the committee in an ex-officio position of ex-chair in which his primary involvement will centre on municipal engagement.

A son of the Eastern Cape, Trevor is an alumni of Kingwood College running Dr Davies Optometrists, Eye-Care and Crossfit Grahamstown in his spare time. Trevor believes that constructive engagement with local and provincial government is the key to ensuring effective governance and service delivery.

Markus Mostert has been re-appointed in the dual role of secretary/treasurer so as to ensure continuity in these important administrative functions.

Having taught Music and Geography for seven years at a secondary school in Bloemfontein, Markus joined the staff of the Commerce Faculty at the University of Zululand to lecture Management Information Systems. At Rhodes University he was responsible for supporting lecturers in using technology in teaching and learning before he ventured onto the entrepreneur rollercoaster ride of business by opening a funeral parlour which operates in Grahamstown and Port Alfred.

Markus is passionate about the potential of small business to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality in our City.


Markus Mostert


Marlene Mitchener

Marlene Mitchener will be continuing fulfilling her functions as GBF Administrator, but will also take up the chair of the Membership Sub-Committee of which the purpose is to grow our membership base.

After retiring from corporate business in Johannesburg, Marlene and her husband Ken moved down to Port Alfred in 2003.  Their retirement did not last long however as the couple soon took on the role of running a game farm in Alexandria for three years. Following this totally new and exciting adventure they moved to Grahamstown to be with their daughter, Melinda, who had studied at Rhodes, had met and married local boy Chizum Richardson. Umthathi Training Project a Grahamstown community-based NGO, became their new focus for 9 years when Marlene was appointed as the Director and Ken as the Financial Consultant.

Marlene is keen to raise awareness of the important work done by the Grahamstown Business Forum and to encourage business and private individuals to join the Forum. Together we can create and sustain a supportive and enabling business environment in Grahamstown and the surrounding areas.

Maso Nduma serves on the Management Commitee as an Additional Member taksed with Business Development. 

Maso works at the Assumption Development Centre where he is responsible for providing business support to fledgling businesses and for encouraging people to start saving groups through the SaveAct model. Through his involvement many a small businesses and more than 20 savings groups (with a combined value of more than R480 000) were established in Joza.

Maso is passionate about instilling a culture of saving in Grahamstown at large because of the potential impact it will have on future generations. In addition, he is interested in involving unemployed youth in small businesses.


Maso Nduna


Monde Mafani.

The Business Development Sub-Committee will be headed by Monde Mafani.

A father of four children, Monde originally hails from Uitenhage. He qualified as an Analytical Chemist and worked for 10 years at Aspen Pharmacare before coming to working at Rhodes University as Senior Technical Officer in Chemistry Department. Monde’s business interests centre on running a caravan hire business (Argotype/Mafani Caravan Hire).

Monde is passionate about community work and is currently running an NGO called Way to Go Science and Technology, helping schools around the Eastern Cape and inspiring learners to engage in Science and Technology. He loves Grahamstown and is here to stay and make a difference in this beautiful township.

A founder member of the GBF Eugene Repinz chairs the Hospitality Committee which is primarily interested in creating collaboration amongst members involved in tourism and restaurant industry.

An old-boy of Graeme College and an alumni of the Hotel School at the ML Sultan Technikon, Eugene is a co-owner of the Graham Hotel in High Street.

Eugene’s primary interest in establishing the Grahamstown Business Forum was to create a conducive business environment in which both workers and customers feel safe.


Eugene Repinz


Grant Meldrum

Grant Meldrum fills the position of Chair of Creative City Sub-Committee for GBF, an initiative that aims to establish Grahamstown as the Creative Capital of Africa. 

Grant is a communication executive and general manager with a rare blend of experience and leadership skills to drive innovation and organisational growth, particularly in challenging economic environments. His diverse experience across four continents includes marketing leader of a digital pay-TV broadcasting (in Beijing) and fast growing digital brands (in Atlanta, USA), and 20+ years of advertising management and strategic planning success in leading global advertising agencies.

Grant currently lives in Grahamstown with wife, Gina and two children, Duncan and Cara.

Membership of the Business Forum is open to business owners as well as private individuals who identify with the aims and objectives of the organisations. Various membership options are available to accommodate different sectors in our town. People who are interested in joining the GBF and in  contributing towards making Grahamstown a better place to be are invited to contact Marlene Mitchener at grahamstownbusiness@gmail.com.

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