Thembelani Theophilus Pongolo is well versed in the key international phytosanitary agreements and rules, having trained with the WTO, IPPC, the US Department of Agriculture after earning a degree in Horticulture and a certificate in Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Pretoria. He also is a validated Facilitator for Beyond Compliance tools which support design and evaluation of Systems Approach.
He was named a Scientist Manager for the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries of South Africa in 2011, which entails mentoring and training technical staff. He manages a team of 54 plant health staff.
Theo works with PRA, regulation of exports and import materials including pathways such as sea containers, and industry relations. He started work with the National Department of Agriculture in 2002 in a role involving inspections, audits, testing and checking labelling of products. His next role included preparation of standard operating procedures, management of staff and compliance for exports.
Theo speaks English, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho and Afrikaans. He lives with his family near Cape Town.