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United States

Executive Chairman of Melana Developments

Keith founded and was the CEO of BuildNet, a software company developing an Internet-based solution for the Building Industry. BuildNet grew to a $2 Billion market cap company with over 1,000 employees with a market share of builders building over 50 percent of all the homes constructed in the United States using its back office systems. Keith was the recipient of The Carolina’s Year 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


Keith is presently focused on Melana Developments South Africa, a company he cofounded in 2011. 

Keith is also Chairman and Project Lead of Friends of Mukhanyo, responsible for building Mukhanyo Christian Academy, a school for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. He serves on the Board of Camp Living Water, a Christian children’s camp in North Carolina. He is also the author of The Builder’s Revolution which is a book used by builders and universities to understand and teach about computer based builder specific process based solutions. 


B. Eng Industrial/Systems Engineering
University of Pretoria

Cobus has extensive experience in business development, deal structuring an program management in the African Urban real estate and retail market. Cobus is a co-founder of Melana developments, a South African based commercial real estate development company. 

He was also involved in the identification and exploration of social entrepreneurship opportunities. Cobus co-founded Enterprise Development Africa (EDA), a NGO focused on the training and mentoring of entrepreneurs in the Emerging Market. EDA has trained well over 300 entrepreneurs which led to the establishment of several small businesses. His work has led to several Emerging Market-based projects in the housing, ICT, micro finance & retail sector.

Werner Kruger

Bsc. Arch (Architecture)
University of Pretoria

Werner has extensive experience in integrated development planning in the emerging African market. His main involvement is in the identifcation of real estate and retail opportunities, community involvement programs, local economic development strategies, integrated community development programs and new- urbanist walkable community planning. 


Werner has co-founded Melana developments, a South African based commercial real estate development company. 

Focus areas include the development of concept proposals for government and private investment projects; overseeing building planning & design development; development of alternative building methods; and business and operations management.

Niel Vermaas

B. Eng Industrial/Systems Engineering
University of Pretoria

Niel has extensive experience in construction and development project feasibility analysis, financial modelling, deal structuring and program management. He also has experience in the development of strategic business plans used for, among others, raising start-up capital and international funding for commercial property developments.

Niel has co-founded Melana developments, a South African based commercial real estate development company. 

Some key areas of involvement are financial planning and modelling; project feasibility analysis; international funding compliance; systems analysis, development and implementation; strategic business and strategy development; business process management and optimisation.

Sunandi Genis

B. Com Financial Management
University of Pretoria

Sunandi graduated from the University of Pretoria with a BCom Financial Management degree in 2013. After almost two years in the banking industry, she furthered her studies and completed an Honours degree in Finanacial Mangement in 2016.


Sunandi has been working for Melana since January 2016.

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