Dr Ayanda Sigwela (PhD, Zoology) is the managing director and the owner of Sigwela and Associates, an ecologist by training. After working as a teacher in Mthatha (St. Johns College) for 3 years, he obtained an Honours degree in science from Walter Sisulu University. He went on to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where he obtained his doctorate in Ecological studies. After working as a Lecturer in the University of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan, he subsequently worked as a program manager at South African National Parks (SANparks) where he was dealing with the compilation Environmental Management Plans for various national parks including the Addo National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park, and Augrabies National Park.
Ayanda is a member of the Thicket Forum and is registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), currently working as an independent environmental consultant. He has extensive experience and has worked on a wide array of ecological issues. He provides scientific oversight for various Natural Resources Management, NRM (previously Working for Water) projects such as:
- Thicket (Spekboom) Rehabilitation
- Rehabilitation of the Eastern Cape’s Coastal Forests
- Rehabilitation of Highland grasslands (mainly watershed areas in the Drakensberg mountain area)
He conducts Environmental Impact Assessments and also compiles Environmental Management Plans. Besides working on ecological issues, Dr Sigwela completed a wide range of assignments in the fields of conservation and environment awareness raising and capacity building of local communities. He has also trained various stakeholders on the use of Eastern Cape Biodiversity Conservation Plan (ECBCP). His work has included research design and management, questionnaire design, training of fieldworkers, designing framework for monitoring, and evaluation of programmes. Ayanda Sigwela also assists in the supervision of post-graduate students (mainly honours and masters).