Management & administration

Management Board (Trustees)

SST has an excellent Board of Trustees which has the fiduciary and legal responsibilities for the trust, and ensures adherence to the legal requirements, policies and ethics of all that SST and its partners undertake in contracts, projects and programmes. Four of the eight current board members are lawyers with considerable professional experience in financial matters. Other trustees have expertise in education, science and business. The primary role of the trustees in all programmes is to ensure that the finances are meticulously managed, that the contracts are carried out as agreed, and that the policies and ethics that guide the trust are followed. Trustees are guided by the CEO on scientific, educational and technical issues. The CEO is supported in some programmes by a technical and academic advisory panel.

The principal trust is administered by the Senior Trust Practitioner of the Nedgroup Trust (Pty) Limited in Cape Town. Nedgroup Trust inherited a proud and long history in trust management when it absorbed the BOE Trust Limited, which was the oldest trust company in the world. This history inspires confidence.

Read more about the Trustees here.


The patrons are figureheads who support SST and bring credit to the organization. SST has a superb board of patrons led by Dr Sylvia Earle, the internationally renowned, multi-award winning marine conservationist, who is also the architect of the Global Hope Spot movement. Dr Earle was one of SST’s founding trustees before becoming a patron.

The other international patron is Mr Masaki Miyaji of Japan. The South African patrons are Peter van Kets, a famous adventurer and explorer; Prof Derrick Schwartz the Vice-Chancellor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University contributing an academic component and Mr Craig Foster, an internationally renowned film-maker and a pioneer of the Sea Change programme encouraging people to better understand the marine environment.

Read more about the Patrons here.

The operational team

Frequently SST seems to be punching well above weight, especially if seen in isolation from its partners and supporting networks. This is due to the SST policy of maintaining a small core staff, and acting as a facilitating or co-ordinating body. Much of what SST achieves should be measured by what other organizations and individuals have performed. For example, SST raises funds for programmes then draws in partners such as those for the Keiskamma Food Security project where it drew in participants from Rhodes University (anthropologists, educators, socio-economists, geographers, economists and marine scientists) from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (estuarine and marine scientists), from University of Fort Hare (agriculturalists and geographic information scientists) and from Keiskamma Trust (educators and sociologists). This programme is most easily appreciated through the films though access to the book and reports arising from the films can be obtained.

Similarly, the SEA Pledge tours and the Hope Spot programmes depended on broad scale collaboration in which SST acted as the facilitating body in which the small SST team and its volunteers harnessed the support of hundreds of people in scores of organizations.

The policy of not committing to a large permanent staff means that the costs of running SST are kept lower, despite having to occasionally employ short-term consultants who are well paid. 

More details of the operational team of SST, led by Dr Ribbink the CEO, are provided here

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