Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Eric Apelgren PDF Print E-mail

Eric Apelgren

Career Profile

  • Sound experience in international development, education and governance since 1985
  • Skilled facilitator, with expertise in managing diversity and transformation issues
  • Qualified mediator, with experience in a range of sectors
  • Democracy education specialist with experience in local and national elections

Career History

Eric provides facilitation and mediation support to iMEDIATE. He also maintains his active community involvement, with a focus on education and youth development.

Eric’s career history is summarised below.

  • Eric is currently Head of International and Governance Relations with eThekwini Municipality, responsible for all Durban’s sister city relationships, all events, including Celebrate Durban and the SA Games. He works on bids to bring major sports and cultural events to Durban.
  • He works with the Mayor and City Manager on all international relations, events and protocol, and provides strategic advice and support to all political office bearers and senior management on matters relating to international relations, intergovernmental relations, events and protocol.
  • Eric manages key stakeholder relationships with the city at civil society, government and private sector level. He is also responsible for the city’s Africa local government capacity building training programme, CIFAL.
  • Senior Manager – Development, KwaZulu Natal Tourism Authority, responsible for the facilitation and implementation of tourism related development projects in the province, with an emphasis on democracy and exclusivity of disadvantaged communities.
  • Regional Director, KwaZulu Natal, Idasa – Institute for Democracy in South Africa, responsible for designing, managing and implementing programmes to promote democracy and a culture of human rights.
  • Regional Coordinator, KwaZulu Natal – Institute for Multi-Party Democracy (MPD), responsible for identifying opportunities for programme work to promote political tolerance and national reconciliation in South Africa, particularly among aspirant politicians, youth and rural communities, with a focus on involving women.
  • Development Officer, KwaZulu Natal – Catholic Archdiocese of Durban, responsible for identification, support and appraisal of urban and rural development projects benefiting poor communities in and around Durban. Also supporting community-based structures to facilitate development in areas experiencing high levels of violence, poverty and natural disasters.
  • Secondary school teacher – Department of Education and Culture, teaching Geography and school guidance.

Leadership and Community Service

1996 to date

  • Board member - Mfundoyesizwe Trust, which builds schools in KZN;
  • Accredited Mediator - Land and Community disputes;
  • Board member - eThekwini Further Education and Training (FET) College;
  • Founding member - Wentworth Improvement Project – a programme to empower youth and especially gangsters and youth in conflict with the law;
  • Board member - MK Veterans’ Association;
  • Board member - KwaZulu-Natal Network on Violence Against Women;
  • Coordinated the Durban Anti-Xenophobia Campaign;
  • Board member - Greater Durban Community Foundation;
  • Board member - Durban Gay and Lesbian Health Centre.

1996 to 1998 - Member National NGO Coalition - KwaZulu-Natal NGO Council

1991 to date

  • Member - Operation Jumpstart (Board member since 1995), formerly KZN Lotto, a grant-maker to KZN non-profit organisations
  • Chairperson - Training Resources for Early Education (TREE), which develops and establishes crèches and Pre-schools in under-resourced communities

1994 - Accredited Observer - Independent Electoral Commission

1993 to 1996 - Member, Coordinating Committee KwaZulu-Natal Forum on Education for Democracy (network of 40 NGOs promoting democracy education, peace, human rights and development)

1993 to date - Chairperson, English Resource Unit, Durban, adult basic education provider to workers, rural women, inner city and peri-urban residents living in informal housing settlements

1990 to 1993 - Member, screening committee, South African Council of Churches, screening projects for funding and supervising fieldworkers. Focus on rural economic empowerment.

1991 - Member, Local Chapter of SACC Development in Ministry

1991 to 1992 - Provincial Secretary, NCCR (National Coordinating Committee for the Repatriation of South African Exiles). Managing repatriation and integration programmes.


Educational Qualifications


Bachelor of Social Science; Higher Diploma in Career Counselling and Geography Methodology, University of Natal, Durban, 1985