“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford

Phathutshedzo Mundalamo


Climate Change & Environment

Organisation / Company

Airports Company South Africa


Phathutshedzo Mundalamo is an environmental consultant working at the Airports Company South Africa. Her work entails coordinating the formulation and implementation of plans, policies, programmes and regulations to control environmental impacts resulting from airport operations. Specifically, Phathutshedzo works at OR Tambo International Airport, ensuring that it complies with environmental legislation. In addition, she is involved in resource conservation initiatives such as water, electricity and waste management.

The 34-year-old, who has qualifications in geology and in environmental management, says her role model was her aunt, Dr Humbulani Mundalamo, who sparked her love for science, which led to a need to protect the natural environment. Another experience — being involved in drilling boreholes and bringing water to people in Gauteng — made her realise the importance of clean water. Additionally, she contributed to a water resource preservation project by ensuring the accuracy of water user data within the Berg-Olifants catchment in Cape Town.


  • Bsc Geology, University of Pretoria
  • Bsc Honours in Environmental Management, Unisa


Early in my career, I had the privilege of working on a project that significantly improved people’s access to water by drilling more than 30 boreholes in Gauteng communities. This experience instilled in me a deep understanding of how clean water is not just a basic need, but a cornerstone for development and people’s well-being. Later, during Cape Town’s severe drought, this lesson became even more profound. When I joined Cape Town International Airport, I was impressed to see their proactive approach. The airport had installed groundwater wells and water harvesting tanks, demonstrating a commitment to building resilience against drought. It was truly inspiring to be part of such a forward-thinking team.


My biggest inspiration is my aunt (Dr Humbulani Mundalamo), a trailblazer who became our family’s first doctor with a geological science degree. Thanks to her, I was introduced to the fascinating world of geology. Her passion for science ignited a spark in me, especially the way geology explores the Earth’s depths. This newfound knowledge fuelled my love for protecting our environment.