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8 - 12 November 2021
Virtual Event

Joel Smith
COO at The Kolisi Foundation


Joel Smith is acting COO at the Kolisi Foundation where he is responsible for day-to-day operations and managing The Foundation’s projects. Joel is committed to strengthening The Foundation’s organizational structures, and is focussed on establishing ways of operating that are consistent with the overall mission and values of the organization.  He is building a strong team who will help carry The Kolisi Foundation into the next phase of its growth.

Joel has spent the majority of his career exploring the built environment and property industry. A major focal point of his academic studies and practical work experience has been exploring innovative solutions to address the ongoing spatial legacy of Apartheid. His volunteer and work experience demonstrates a consistent desire to work for the wellbeing of all South Africans.

Before joining The Kolisi Foundation, Joel worked at The Property Group Limited in New Zealand, where he was responsible for preparing acquisition strategies and providing geographical risk assessments. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about risks and challenges for our most vulnerable communities in South Africa.  Like founders Siya and Rachel Kolisi, Joel could not sit by and do nothing. He packed up his belongings and returned to South Africa to join the team, investing himself fully in establishing a productive and professional operational environment at The Kolisi Foundation.

Joel is committed to changing the narrative of inequality in South Africa. He leads by example. One day you may find him on a Zoom call connecting with partners and service providers to ensure the smooth logistics and delivery of 300 food parcels to a community in the Eastern Cape. The next day, you will find him leading with a paintbrush in hand, transforming a backyard space into an oasis of care.

He is a proud alumni of the University of Cape Town where he received a Bachelor of Science. He played Rugby 1st team for UCT and sports an impressive list of rugby accolades. Does he like long walks on the beach? Well, you’ll have to ask him yourself.

Speakers at this event