Our Team

Joy Olivier

Joy is passionate about finding innovative solutions to big social problems. She is the co-founder of IkamvaYouth, which she led for 15 years and is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI). She is also a Yale Greenburg World Fellow and Ashoka fellow. Joy won the civil society category for the Most Influential Women in Business & Government in the SADC region in 2013. Joy has an MPhil in Education and ICT.

Tlali Makotoko

Tlali is passionate about making change happen and developing his community. He has an extensive network throughout Lesotho, and is highly adept at community engagement and stakeholder relationship management. Before joining Botanican, Tlali was a small business owner, working in transport, security and logistics. Tlali has a Diploma in Jurisdiction from the University of Transkei.

Gareth Olivier

Gareth is passionate about leveraging regenerative farming practices to grow high quality cannabis. He is a commercial farmer with over 30 years’ experience in crop production and 7 years research experience in plant breeding and developing networks of small-scale farmers. Before joining Botanican, Gareth managed a University research site and built capacity for a growing community-based essential oils operation.

Oliver Vergo

Oliver is an accredited member of the Institute of Business Advisors in Southern Africa (IBASA) with experience in building and growing start-up operations. He has an MBA (cum laude) from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business where he also teaches. He has worked with organisations on their internal change management programmes and has provided guidance to senior leaders on how to address questions of culture, team dynamics and innovation. Oliver was previously a business analyst for the U.K. government and has extensive experience working with ministers, public bodies and the corporate sector.

Shiva Makotoko

Shiva is an advisor to the South African Government, and was previously Executive Director at INCA Portfolio Managers, overseeing the Infrastructure Debt Fund and consulting for The World Bank and National Treasury. She was previously Executive Head of Alexander Forbes Public Sector Division in South Africa and the rest of Africa; and Head of Public Sector at Absa Corporate and Investment Banking. Shiva was previously a Deputy Director General at National Government, where she contributed extensively to the development of Public Finance legislation and policy. Shiva has an MA in Economics & Management.