Johann (Rensie) v Rensburg

Signal Squadron Commander, Army Gymnasium, Heidelberg
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Torque IT, Pretoria
Male: South African citizen

Rensie van Rensburg has been active in the Technology for Development (Tech4Dev) arena for 25 years and has lately  been managing several large portfolios of systemic science, engineering and technology (SET) interventions aimed at rural innovation.  These have been proving to be opportunities to – in a hands-on manner -  scope, design and implement systemic and holistic rural innovation programmes that targets the appropriate sub-systems (including education) as catalysts for broader, rural, socio-economic development.  He has also been the Key Account Manager (KAM) for the CSIR relationships with the South African Departments of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Authorities (DCoGTA) and has been the Principal Investigator during 2016 of a study into the integration of services for Local Economic and Enterprise Development (Integration4CrossSDLED).

His development practitioner and management experience in non-industrialised countries is reflected below:



Name and brief description of the project

South Africa

Jan 1977 to Jul 1989

Corps of Signals, South African Defence Force.
8,5 years of (interrupted) service as Signals Officer in above force with last 3 years as officer commanding a computerised electronic warfare facility with 110 staff members.

South Africa

Aug 1989 to Feb 1994

Grinaker System Technologies.
Managed a 12 (technical authors, computer graphics specialists and software developers) people facility to produce electronic user, maintenance and training material for the above computerised system.

South Africa

Apr 1997 to Mar 1999.

Noth West Centre of Excellence.
Specified, planned and implemented an ICT-enabled provincial “back-office” environment /Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) development for the North West Department of Economic Development.

South Africa

Nov 2000 to Nov 2001

South African National MPCC (Multi-purpose Community Centre) Business Plan (Phase 1).
Member of the dedicated 6-person national task team of the Inter-sectoral Steering Committee (NISSC) that compiled the national implementation and business plan for the MPCC initiative.

South Africa

Jul 2002 to Jul 2004

National Inter-sectoral Steering Committee (NISSC) Executive Committee:
Member of the above executive committee (as chairperson of the Information Services Task Team of the NISSC) that advised on the deployment of MPCCs in South Africa.

South Africa

April 1997 to Date

inTouch Africa® Software System.
Designed, specified and managed the development of a total “bandwidth friendly” support system for the enablement of community centres that render Business Development Services (BDS) to SMMEs as well as broad community development services.

South Africa

Nov. 2003 to Date

Infopreneurs™ Deployment Model.
Designed, developed and tested the above model that contributes significantly to the sustainability of rural service enterprises in community centres.  It provides for a ‘franchise like’ approach to the commercialisation of ICT-enabled service enterprises in (rural) communities.


Jan 2002 to Dec 2005

CUIS Project of Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC).
Act as systems provider (inTouch Africa®) as well as technical expert and advisor to BOTEC for this project in deep rural communities in Botswana.


June 2003 to Date.

CISP and Ministry of Education:  Community Learning and Development Centres (CLDCs).
Act as systems provider (inTouch Africa®) as well as technical expert to CISP for this project in communities in Namibia.

South Africa

Jul 2001 to Jul 2004

W.K. Kellogg Funded ICTs for Rural Development Research.
Designed and tested various approaches towards technical (ICT) and sustainability solutions for rural development initiatives and centres in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).


Jul 2006 to Oct 2009

W.K. Kellogg Funded ICTs for Kellogg “Zoom” Sites in SADC Countries.
A design and scoping project to determine the needs and mechanisms for linking community level satellite centres to a regional learning & development centre.

South Africa

Jul 2006 to Aug 2009

EU FP6 “Collaboration @ Rural” Project. 
The design, implementation and maintenance (including ongoing technology and business model development and verification) of the first Southern African ‘rural living lab’ (and first outside of Europe to be admitted as member of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) in the deep rural Sekhukhune District of South Africa.


Jun 2007 to Jul 2009

San Martinez Municipality SMME Incubator: 
Act as systems provider (inTouch Africa®) as well as technical expert to CISP

South Africa

Sep 2009 to Jun 2011

National Indigenous Knowledge Management System (NIKMAS)
Design and deployment support for early field testing and cataloguing of South African Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

South Africa

Jul 2011 to Date

Technology for Rural Innovation and Education Development (Tech4RIED) Project. 
The design, implementation and support (including ongoing technology and business model development and verification) of a holistic, systemic ‘rural living lab’ solution to the revitalisation of rural innovation systems and education in the deep rural Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Designing and Implementing Outcomes Mapping Monitoring and Evaluation.

South Africa

May 2015 to Jan 2016

Support the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform with Agri-Park Initiative. 
Providing thought leadership, model refinement and implementation and sustainability guidelines for the roll-out of Agri-Parks to all 44 District Municipalities in South Africa.  This assignment is drawing on 24 years of development experience in the rural Southern Africa context and provides a focus for this experience in the South African agricultural (commercial and emerging) context - in most cases the mainstay of rural economic as well as enterprise creation endeavours.


Nov ’14 to Date

Designing and Implementing ICT Systems to Support Agri-Promotion Hub for Sofala and Manica Provinces in Chimoio, Mozambique.  Developing and implementing a multi-lingual and multi-funtional ICT support system to enable agri-business extension as well as emerging agriculture value-chain analysis and promotion.

South Africa, Vhembe Disttrict

Nov ’15 to Date

Validation of systemic, holistic model to support agri-schooling and agri-business extension in emerging agriculture context.  Fine-tuning and verifying the approach developed during the Tech4RIED project above.  It also includes the facilitation of emerging farmers into formal value chains.

South Africa

Apr ’16 to Jan ‘17

Principal Investigator for the CSIR’s Focused Thematic investment into Integrated Planning and Decision Support for Systemic Service Delivery interventions in the cross-cutting LED context of local Municipalities.