Acting Director - Compliance: at the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
Summiting the highest peaks around the world, camping alongside a river or on the snow in the Cederberg Mountains, Western Cape, experiencing the beauty of all 19 South African national parks, glacier walking in New Zealand, and snorkeling along the coastline, are a way of life for Fatima Savel. It is not surprising that the District Six-born chose a career in environmental affairs. After matriculating at Harold Cressy in Cape Town, Savel graduated with a BSc. Honours degree in Natural Sciences from the University of the Western Cape. She then spent 16 years in education, with the last six holding the chief examiner position for the physiology higher grade examination in the Department of Education, Western Cape. That experience came in handy when she took up a position as deputy director: skills development, training and awareness at the Fisheries Management branch in 2006. Her responsibilities included identifying and implementing training initiatives for fishery control officers in the department, plus developing and facilitating community awareness programmes. When Savel was appointed acting director: compliance, her responsibilities changed to include providing strategic guidance and support to 160 fishery control officers based along the 3 000 km South African coastline from Port Nolloth to Kosi Bay. Her skills development contribution even extends to law-enforcement agencies operational in the oceans economy and across the SADC region. Savel also plays an active role in the 9-Miles Project, a local non-profit organisation that addresses social issues in coastal communities. Her experience in fisheries management, both locally and internationally, has seen her representing South Africa at compliance and commission meetings around the world. Savel says: “Integrity, discipline, being a team player and getting the work done shows exemplary leadership.