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Mareli Wassenaar


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Mareli Wassenaar

Executive Director - Capital Collective

Currently resides in: Gauteng, South Africa

Born in Pretoria South Africa

Mareli Wassenaar is the Executive Director of the Capital Collective, an NPC focused on citizen-driven rejuvenation initiatives in the Pretoria CBD, City of Tshwane.

As the Programme Director she connects businesses, corporates, local and national government, community groups, NGO’s, funding agents and other stakeholders to development, rejuvenation, CSI and Social Responsibility programmes in the city.

Creativity, Innovation, Connection and Communication are the cornerstones of her work and she believes that Public, Private and Community Partnerships are key to sustainable cities.

She has been involved with many projects and events driving social cohesion, arts-, culture- and economic development, environmental issues, safety, urban agriculture, tourism, improved public spaces and smart partnerships. Projects include the inner-city Market@theSheds, the development of the Walkerspruit Cycling Route, the Not-on-my-Block initiative and various others.

Mareli is a bridge-builder, organiser and activator and her expertise lies in stakeholder engagement, place-making and creative problem-solving, focusing on creating real change and building a brand from the inside out.

Qualified in public relations, business communication and organisational development, she has worked as a communications consultant since 1998. In 2014 her passion for rejuvenation in the capital’s inner city became a full-time venture.

Contact details

M: 0828546854

Web presence

Business Address

274 Waterkloof Road, Pretoria, South Africa, 0011

Professional Portfolios

View all portfolios→

Laurika Rauch - Mense op die Bus

in Media Mosaics Video, Multimedia & Social Media

Capital Collective Profile

in Capital Collective

Professional details

Current Position(s)

Executive Director | Capital Collective Projects NPC
Pretoria, South Africa | February 2014 - present

Social Development and Community Services

Brand Building, Community Relations, Research, Stakeholder Engagement, Project Development, Project Management, Social Change Advocacy, Media Liaison, Marketing and Communication, Facilitation, Fundraising..

Marketing and Communication Specialist | The Barefoot Contessa Travel & Events
Pretoria, South Africa | 2010 - present

Travel, Tourism and Hospitality

Creative Event and Ambiance Productions, with the mission to create unique, unforgettable events - always with a twist...

Community Relations | Groenkloof Safety Initiative & Groenkloof Residents Association
2007 - present

Government, Public Administration and Defence

Communication and Community Relations

Communication Specialist | Media Mosaics Corporate Communication Consultants
Pretoria, South Africa | 1998 - present

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

Corporate communicaton (internal and external) inspired by the principles of Change, Organisational Development and Employee Engagement. Conceptualisation, planning, production and management of major communication campaigns, development of training material and consultation on a variety of other communication initiatives for a range of clients. These include the UNDP, South African Post Office, Roche Pharmaceuticals, Sasol Polymers, MultiChoice, Fluor, Tshwane University of Technology, Natref, Sasol Technology, Sasol Wax, North West University, FNB, GCIS, Department of Trade and Industry, Innovation Fund, Eskom, Aquarius Platinum and others.

Previous Position(s)

President of Pretoria Chapter | IABC
2008 - 2009

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

Africa Board Member | IABC
2005 - 2009

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

Production Manager | Gumba Guumba Television Productions
1997 - 1997

Broadcast Media, Multimedia and Film

Writing Proposals
Project and Financial Management
Casting, Props, set development, etc
Floor management

Production Manager | Peter Vaughan Productions
1996 - 1997

Broadcast Media, Multimedia and Film

Represented the company at the Cannes Television Festival
Produced documentaries and weekly magazine programmes for Mnet

Office Manager | Embassy of Tunisia in South Africa
1994 - 1995

Government, Public Administration and Defence

General Office Management
Personal Assistant to Ambassador
Events and diplomatic high-level arrangements
Assisted with the Tunisian Presidential visit to SA
Assisted with the establishment of the Tunisian mission in SA

Educational history


AHMP, Pretoria, South Africa (1989)


SEP Serfontein Consulting Group (PTY)LTD

Pretoria, South Africa | 1999 - 2007

Organisational Development and Change - Organisational Development

Positive Power and Influence;
Mastering the Art of Facilitation;
Consultation skills
Positive Negotiation Programme

University of the Orange Free State

Johannesburg, South Africa | 1991 - 1993

BA Communications - Business Communication, French, Business Psychology, Graphic Design



Best International Chapter Performance & Volunteer of the Year | 2007

Africa Board Member and Pretoria Chapter President of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

World Mail Award 2003 | 2003

Best campaign internationally, category: security (SA Post Office)

Shortlist and nomination

South African Publications Board | 2004

South African Publications Board Finalist: Employee Report, Multichoice

media exposure

CNN Travel | 2017

In old Pretoria, travelers find the new South Africa

Cool Capital Guerilla Design Magazine | 2017


Cap City Complex | 2017

Wendi Khoza at The Sheds as she finds out from Mareli Wassenaar, founder of Market @ The Shed what this initiative is all about.

Rekord Pretoria North | 2013

Celebrate the arts in style

Sunday Times Neighbourhood | 2016

Uplifting Collective

Tribe Magazine | 2016

Places that Inspire

Cool Capital Guerilla Citizens Catalogue | 2016

The world’s first uncurated, DIY, guerilla city-wide arts intervention by the citizens of the Capital City of South Africa, collectively contemplating and expressing how they feel about their city. A city is a life form. How do they care for their city? And in turn, for those who live in it?

SABC Pasella | 2016

Pasella maak dak nat in die middestad met ons trots Pretoriaanse partytjietafel, kuier in Freedom Park, besoek ou bekendes en probeer nuwe neigings.

Rekord Pretoria East | 2015

Market rejuvenates Pretoria CBD | 2015

How public art is reshaping Tshwane

Sunday Times Neighbourhood | 2016

Founder of Market @ the Sheds: the monthly, inner-city market aimed at showcasing Tshwane talent.

Kyknet Winslyn | 2015

Entrpeneurskap en Pretoria se middestad

Die Groot Ontbyt | 2017

Sosiale Entrepreneurskap - 21 Feb 2017

Other Achievements

Speaker - Urban Renewal Conference | 2016

How to transform cities through people and create dynamic and real community assets.
The concept of participatory place-making and how combining bottom-up and top-down means of regenerating bring greater resilience.
How small changes equal big effects,why innovation within existing infrastructure is ideal, and why designing for and with people is the way forward.
The role of civil society in city renewal, current engagement efforts and relationships amongst civil society, the public sector and the private sector. Private Sector Partnerships specifically set up to allow both sectors to benefit from initiatives where active citizenry becomes project drivers and stakeholders to an extent.
Success stories where civil society played a major part in bringing life back to urban spaces.
Collaborative solutions and models for participatory design to help implement community-scale strategies for regeneration.



Groenkloof Safety Initiative

Director, 2008 - present


Pio Combrink

"‘With our 35 years experience in data capturing, it is easy to recognise a person with a complete knowledge of her game, and the capability to clearly communicate her requirements to the service providers. While working with Mareli, I have always found her presenting herself through her bubbling personality and a natural ability to work with people. On each of the projects we worked together, our team understood exactly what Mareli expected, which made it easier to deliver just that! It will be a privilege to work with Mareli again.’" - 2012

Luan van Rhyn

"Every now and then you come across an individual that is really an expert on his/her field of expertise, has such a passionate drive for what they do that they dive into the project head first and still delivers exactly what was promised.
I have experienced Mareli as just such a person.
Where she and her team really come into their own is that they are extremely personable people. They invest a lot of their own emotion into the project, making you feel like one big family working towards the same goal.
" - 2012

Donald Pillai

"Mareli has an innate ability to keep strategic focus and still pay attention to every detail of her clients’ projects. She is an extremely experienced and consummate PR and Communications professional with an international outlook who has the ability to think on a strategic level and at the same time ensure a perfect execution of every campaign. Her ability to manage both internal and external personnel is invaluable and she will always push for the best, never settling for the mediocre or average. Mareli is a creative thinker and is talented in briefing and managing several projects concurrently. She successfully managed to raise the profile of numerous companies both far and wide. As a person she is beautiful inside and outside, energetic, full of integrity, honesty, humility, sincerity, love and dedication, and a pure pleasure to work with." - 2012

Jeanne Willem

"Mareli Wassenaar deserves a medal for bringing us back to the inner city! Her brain child, Market @ the Sheds, brings good food, cool music and a fantastic atmosphere together. Situated just off the old Church Street, the market is a breath of fresh air in an inner city, which has sadly become derelict and unkempt. One can only hope that this gem will convince investors that Tshwane inner city is worth reviving!" - 2016

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