Sibongile Masuku Van Damme

Gender News

No news found.


No events found.

You are here

Sibongile Masuku Van Damme
General Manager, People and Conservation Division, South African National Parks

Sibongile Masuku's work focuses on gender and the environment. She has served as General Manager of the People and Conservation Division of the South African National Parks since 2004, where she established a new Social Science Research Unit in order to extend research access to historically disadvantaged scholars, including indigenous peoples. As an Environmental Education Officer for the Natal Parks Board in the 1990s, Masuku worked with ecologists, park managers, communities, and schools on park-neighbor relationship programs, including the development of appropriate hands-on learning materials.

Masuku has also served as a government advisor within the Department of Arts and Culture on heritage policy and strategy affectingSouth Africa's principal heritage institutions; and has been appointed to a number of advisory positions, including serving on the advisory team for theNelsonMandelaNationalMuseum. She was President of the Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa, 1998-2001.

She has a BA in humanities and education from theUniversityofSwazilandand an M.Ed. in Environmental Education fromRhodes University,South Africa. Her most recent book, Producing Conservation and Community, co-authored with Lynn Meskell, Professor of Anthropology at Stanford, is due to be published at the end of 2007. She held a visiting scholarship, funded by the Mellon Foundation, in the Stanford University Department of Anthropology during January and February 2007.

While a Research Fellow at the Clayman Institute, Sibongile Masuku contributed to discussions on the role and importance of indigenous knowledge in science, and completed her Rhodes University Ph.D. dissertation which considers how the example of re-teaching the art of tracking to the Khomani San in the Kalahari has implications for conservation organizations and their role in providing environmental education.  In her photo, Masuku is pictured with Oom Dawid Kruiper, the traditional leader of the Khomani San people.

Sibongile Masuku was a resident at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research between January and June 2008.