Executive Manager: Planning & Economic Development
Lusanda Menze, Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development, was born in 1982 in a small town called Keiskammahoek, in the rural hinterland of the Eastern Cape. He prefers to refer to his birthplace as Qobo-Qobo (to twist most people’s tongues and how it is affectionately known), a town that thrived in Agriculture and Timber for decades whilst growing up. He is the second born from a family of four sons.
Mr Menze considers himself privileged to still have both parents, who are now retired educators. They inculcated moral values to their children, and continue to guide them in adulthood. He completed his Primary School in Keiskammahoek under the tutelage of his father as Headmaster. Thereafter, he attended secondary education at King Williams Town, where he matriculated in 2000.
In 2001, Mr Menze enrolled for a Bachelor of Social Science (majoring in Industrial Psychology, Public Administration and Development Economics) at the University of Fort Hare. During his studies at the University of Fort Hare, he was involved in the student movement, subsequently served as the Secretary-General of SASCO. He actively participated in sport and served as Chairman of the University Rugby Club (known as “Luma ke Blues”) for two years. In 2005 he completed his Bachelor of Administration (Honours) in Public Management at the University of Pretoria. Furthermore, in 2009 he completed a Master’s Degree in Town and Regional Planning at the University of Pretoria.
He previously worked for the Gauteng Department of Education in the Policy and Planning Unit and very briefly planned for Doctoral Studies on a programme led by Aspire and Fort Hare Institute for Social and Economic Research (FHISER).
“My journey in Local Government began with brief on-job-experience in Gauteng assisting municipalities with development planning initiatives. My formal career began shortly after the World Cup in 2010, when I joined the former Maletswai Municipality (now known as Walter Sisulu Municipality) in Aliwal North. I have also worked for Nkonkobe Local Municipality and served that community as the Acting Municipality and Interim Municipal Manager for 25 months and administered the merger of erstwhile Nkonkobe and Nxuba Local Municipalities to establish the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality after the 2016 Local Government Elections. This appointment was made by the MEC for CoGTA in the Eastern Cape as the first Interim Municipal Manager for the newly established municipality for ten months.”
In 2018, Mr Menze joined the Garden Route District Municipality as the Executive Manager for Planning and Economic Development, a position, according to him, has given him a lot of insight and personal growth.
Apart from the formal work, Mr Menze also has done a lot of work for the Border Rugby Union in East London, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union (and its refereeing department) and the SA Rugby Union in the Referee’s Department – not as a referee, but as a Match/Referee Performance Reviewer. He has had a wide range of experience and extensive travelling in rugby and also in rugby administration for a period spanning over 15 years.
Lusanda Menze is an avid reader, who also enjoys watching sports, especially cricket, tennis, soccer and rugby. He travels a lot and enjoys spending time with his mates.