There is a new CEO of the Gamtoos Irrigation Board, the entity that controls the Kouga Dam.
Rienette Colesky, the woman who is taking over from Pierre Joubert as the CEO of the Gamtoos Irrigation Board, obtained her Masters degree in Labour Law in the same month as being appointed in her new post.
This accomplished mother of two teenage boys, loves a challenge and looks forward to being in charge of the management of the irrigation scheme as well as many Work for Water projects in the province.
“I must be intellectually stimulated. I thrive on complicated problems or complex conflict situations.”
Colesky, originally from Ugie, matriculated from Hangklip High School in Queenstown and studied a BCom degree in Organisational and Industrial Psychology, and an honours degree combining financial management at the University of Port Elizabeth.
During her three year in-service training at FNB in Port Elizabeth, she also acquired a credit diploma through Damelin. In 1997 she married citrus farmer, Marthinus, and worked for three years at the FNB in Patensie. “I enjoyed it very much and learnt a lot about the farming community,” she said.
After her first child was born in 2001, Pierre Joubert asked her to work for the Irrigation Board. From that day on she was involved in every aspect of the GIB. And for the past 16 years she was the Financial and Human Resources Manager.
She says the function of the GIB has expanded over the years. “The Work for Water’s budget has grown from R8 million per annum to R106 million in 2016. At the moment we manage 44 projects in the Eastern Cape, from Kokstad to Tsitsikamma, and at times we provide jobs to 4 000 people.”
“I was also involved with the operational meetings on structure, but an engineer, Jacques van der Merwe, was appointed recently to manage the civil side,” she says.
Rienette says she is ready to take on the responsibility of office. “The GIB is responsible for getting the water for the farmers from the Kouga Dam to the Loerie Dam and for spending the farmers’ money wisely. Our team has daily meetings on all the operational matters of the scheme and we strive towards the same goal,” she says.
About the man behind this superwoman, she says Marthinus is very supportive. “He is a religious man, and I learn a lot from him. He allows me to explore my limits.”
Her motto is that you should make use of all opportunities. She also teaches that to her two sons, Pieter (gr12) and Braam (gr9), both learners at Nico Malan High School in Humansdorp.
Rienette believes that her success as CEO of the Irrigation Board is determined by the participation of all her personnel. “One person cannot know everything about all aspects of the scheme, but together a dynamic team will move mountains.” And she knows she works with a good and motivated team.