Chairperson & Co - founder of communiTgrow
Gita Goven is a founding partner of communiTgrow and executive director of ARG Design. Gita is a qualified architect and one of South Africa’s foremost sustainability thinkers and practitioners. Gita is a tenacious, passionate, multi- talented and an inspiring designer and strategist. She is the only black woman to head a large multidisciplinary design practice located in Cape Town. Gita has refused to be confined by the strictures and imposed limitations of both race and gender as practiced during the Apartheid era in South Africa. As a result of her enormous talent and determination she graduated as an architect, becoming the second black woman to accomplish this goal during the oppressive Apartheid era.
Gita has pioneered a design practice that focuses on social and environmental transformation in the built environment. Gita is responsible for strategy, research, promotion, project conceptualisation and integration at ARG Design. She enjoys building networks and partnerships for the delivery of sustainable innovation through projects.
Her many professional engagements include; Chairperson of the Sustainability Institute of Southern Africa; Appointed as a member of the Western Cape Provincial Government Inter- Ministerial Advisory Board of GreenCape; and a member of the climate change think tank process of the City of Cape Town and the African Centre for Cities; and member of the physical planning committee for the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Dr Ruben Richards
Dr Ruben Richards is the quintessential African Renaissance man. He has accumulated a wealth of experience and a reputation as a trustworthy and effective leader with a proven track record in nation building, criminal justice reform and community regeneration. From humble beginnings, as a fitter and turner tradesman in Cape Town, Ruben has developed a varied and eclectic career holding significant executive leadership positions and portfolios in government, business, academia and civil society. These include Executive Secretary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa and, CEO of one of the largest marine and general engineering companies in Southern Africa, and also founding Deputy Director-General of the Directorate of Special Operations (commonly known as the Scorpions).
Ruben is a global citizen, widely travelled. In addition to his mechanical engineering certificate studies and his under graduate degree, he has gone on to complete post-graduate degrees in Europe, USA and South Africa, graduating with a PhD in religious studies from the University of Cape Town in 1995. He has served as a visiting adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Public and Development Management (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), visiting Professor, Albion College, Michigan-USA, and is currently post-graduate Supervisor (external) and also Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Department of Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Business at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Ruben’s breadth of experience and skills enables him to advise governments as well as agencies of the United Nations and other international development agencies, academic institutions, civic organisations, and business on topics linked to sustainable nation building for societies and communities in transition. Ruben publishes widely and is the author of a recently published book: BULLETS OR BALLOTS-the ultimate solution to crime and unemployment in South Africa.
Ruben’s professional experience combined with his humanity uniquely qualifies him to lead the company in its innovative and yet brave pursuit of creating sustainable African cities.
Director & Co - founder of communiTgrow
Alastair Rendall is a founding partner of ARG Design and a founding partner of communiTgrow. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Cape Town in 1985 and a Master of City Planning and Urban Design in 1989. Since his early work with the Urban Foundation and the Development Action Group (1986 to 1996), he has been concerned with the complex interplay of institutional, economic and environmental sustainability in the built environment. Through a combination of experience in private practice and with NGO’s he is able to deliver high-quality public projects that win community acceptance. Alastair is committed to building strong and fulfilling relationships, pushing the boundaries of innovation and delivering excellent projects. His strategic vision ensures that these projects deliver developmental and sustainability outcomes. Alastair’s calm and consistent leadership is a hallmark of ARG Design’s project delivery. His experience and ability to span projects across scales and disciplines in an easygoing and adroit manner facilitates the delivery of challenging projects.