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Management Team

The General Manager is an employee of the UIP Company who works closely and reports to the Chairman on an almost daily basis, as well as the Directors from time to time, and at Board Meetings held every two months.   The Directors are non-income earning and are associated with the UIP because of their passion to uplift the inner city and to promote it as a tourist destination.                                                                                                         The Board has taken the decision to appoint an operational employee to join the Urban Improvements Precincts Company during the course of the 2015/2016 financial year.


Ebrahim Vadachia - Chairman

Ebrahim began his career in the motor Industry before joining his wife to establish Avoca Travels in 1980 where he currently holds the position of Group Managing Director. Ebrahim is well-travelled and also serves as Chairman of a Body Corporate and acts as a trustee on the boards of various community, religious and charitable organisations. He joined the UIP Board as a Director in late 2014 and was subsequently elected to, and still holds, the position of chairman of the South Beach Precinct. In September 2015 he was unanimously elected Chairman of the UIP Board.  


Amar Harjan - Vice Chairman

Amar has been in the hotel industry for over 46 years, and recently retired as General Manager of the South Beach Garden Court. He has returned to his passion and is now employed by Coastlands Hotel and Resort Group as General Manager. He started his career as an accountant, quickly moving up the ranks to his current position. He is also involved in a few business initiatives with his wife as his business partner. Amar is passionate about charity work and is actively involved with various community upliftment programmes. He was involved with the UIP for a number of years before joining the Board as a Director and now as Vice Chairman.  


Okkie Brits - Executive Director

Okkie was General Manager of City Lodge Durban for the past seven years. He also held various positions at different hotels across the country within the City Lodge Group. He is currently General Manager of City Lodge, Umhlanga Ridge. Okkie has been involved with the Hospitality industry for 14 years and joined the UIP Board in 2008. He is also the Chairman of the UIPs’ North East Business Precinct committee.


Etienne Erlank – Executive Director

Etienne Erlank served as a diplomat for 12 years in Switzerland, Taiwan, Brazil and Australia responsible for security and political and economic issues. He was also appointed Risk Manager for the FIFA World Cup in 2010. Passionate about safety and security, he currently heads the risk portfolio at ICC. He holds a BA degree in Social Sciences and has various other management qualifications under his belt. He joined the UIP Board in 2014 and chairs the Venue Operation Centre (VOC), where the safety and security of events in and around Durban are discussed with the Intelligence/Security community. 

Nicolene Brennan – Executive Director
 Nicolene has been the General Manager of Durban Spa for the past five years. Before this she held numerous managerial positions at different organisations in Durban. She worked for Bidvest Prestige for eight years prior to joining Durban Spa. The Bidvest Group by means of business acquisition bought over the Trafalgar Property Services portfolio, of which she was the appointed Regional Manager for Trafalgar Services. Nicolene is very passionate about the success of the South Beach precinct and making it a destination of choice for all tourists.


Wayne Smith – Executive Director 

Wayne joined the then Southern Sun, now Tsogo Sun in 1998 and has been with the company for the past 18 years. Starting at Drakensberg Sun, he then moved on to Southern North Beach, Southern Sun, the Cullinan in Cape Town and Umhlanga Sands in various management and operational roles. Wayne was then promoted to General Manager at Garden Court Blackrock in Newcastle where he worked for three years before moving to Garden Court South Beach as General Manager in November 2014.


 Colin Burnett - General Manager

 Initially starting his career in the field of administration, Colin pursued career paths in marketing, retailing, sales, as well as owning a restaurant/pub, before getting involved in property management and a real estate agency for 10 years. He joined the Urban Improvement Precincts Company in November 2007, and has been General Manager for the past 8 years.



Ingrid Lewis: Administrative Assistant

Ingrid joined the team as Administrative Assistant on 1 October and will provide valuable administrative support to the General Manager with the daily running of the office. Ingrid moved to Durban three years ago, after spending over 30 years in Johannesburg, working mainly in sales. “Once you move to Durban, there’s no going back. I simply love it here. To be given this opportunity to work and make a difference in the city is an added bonus, and I am eager to get involved.” Ingrid is a hands-on go getter and will not be office bound, but will be doing regular walkabouts in the city to identify and fix problems. She is an avid gardener, who loves reading and spending time with her family. 


 Yvonne Badenhorst: South Beach Liaison Officer

Yvonne is a born and bred Durbanite and has lived on South Beach for most of her life. This is why she is the perfect fit for her new job as Liaison Officer. A familiar face to residents and businesses, Yvonne has been involved in crime fighting for over 27 years. As Security Manager for uShaka Marine World; part of the hospitality security for many years and a member of the Community Policing Forum, Yvonne is as close to crime as it gets. She will act as your go to person on the beachfront and will provide support to the security and cleaning teams on the SB precinct. “I have my ear to the ground and through our various Whatsapp groups, we are able to stay in touch and tackle crime as it happens”, said Yvonne.

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