Dr. Tirhani Mabunda

Founder & Chairperson

“When you build a house, you build it for yourself.  But when you build a school, you build it for the community.  If you can be a vessel to also help other people, for me, that is the greatest thing that can ever happen.”

Dr. Mabunda's career and education

Tirhani has had an illustrative career as an administrator, academic and entrepreneur. Tirhani started his career as a clerk in 1981 at the former homeland of Gazankulu, Limpopo, South Africa. By 1985, Tirhani had moved to the position of Assistant Personnel Officer dealing with HR tasks of recruitment, placement, training and counselling. Tirhani branched to teaching in 1988. He became Acting Headmaster of Hanyani Thomo High School between January and July 1990, responsible for 26 teachers and 719 students. Tirhani was Registrar of the Giyani College of Education; a Wits University affiliate at the time, between July 1990 and December 1993, responsible for the management of the college, including administration, academic & student affairs.
Tirhani started his business career on a part-time basis when he ventured into the taxi business in 1988. By 1993, Tirhani’s taxi business had grown to three (3) minibus taxis. Tirhani sold his taxi business in December 1993 and launched his formal business career by becoming the first black person to buy a Nandos Chickenland franchise in SA. By December 1995, Tirhani had opened a second Nandos store in Thohoyandou in the former Venda homeland. During this time, Tirhani’s business interests expanded to construction and catering. During 1996 and the early part of 1997, Tirhani did part-time consulting for Statomet; a research division of the University of Pretoria. This development launched Tirhani’s consulting career. He moved to Johannesburg and joined Africa Now Consulting as MD in 1997. From then on, Tirhani developed into an international business person and highlights of his illustrious business career include the following:

  • (1995-2009): Founded Xihluke Construction which later became BR Tsima Construction in partnership with Basil Read, one of South Africa's top civil construction companies.
  • (1998-Date): Founded Plus 94 Research, South Africa’s biggest black-owned research company.
  • (2000-Date) : Founded Tirhani Group Holdings (TGH), a holdings and investment company with interests in diverse industries; including aviation, auctioneering, construction, education, funeral insurance, funeral services, investments, logistics, properties, resources and energy, technologies, transport, training and skills development.
  • (2006-2012) : Owned Caltex Service Station in Giyani, Limpopo.
  • (2006-2009) : Owned a third of Audi Polokwane, Limpopo.
  • (2006-Date) : Founded Corporation du Developpement Centrafricaine (CDC), a Central African Republic based company with interests in trading, mining, energy and construction.
  • (2007-Date) : Founded Rixaka Group, a holdings company incorporating four (4) companies with interests in funeral insurance and funeral services.
  • (2009-Date) : Founded the African Training Academy and School of Auctioneering (ATASA), a training academy specializing in the training of real estate agents & auctioneers.
  • (2009-2013) : Bought shares in RealNet Holdings, a national South African real estate franchise group.
  • (2010-2012) : Founded Dream Tree Properties, a real estate company focusing on affordable housing markets.
  • (2013-Date) : Founded Tirhani Foundation, a Non-Profit Company (NPC) involved in Career Development, Entrepreneurship, Training and SMME Development.
  • (2016-Date) : Established Nyukani Education Centre, a private school located in a rural setting in Giyani, Limpopo.
  • (2017-Date) : Established the Centre for Enterpriseneurship in 2017 as a Non-Profit Company (NPC) involved in SMME Development and Entrepreneurship.
Tirhani holds the following past and present positions, designations and directorships:

  • (1989–1993) : Founder and Chairperson of the Giyani Town Taxi Operators (GITTO).
  • (1994–1996) : Founder and Chairperson of the Giyani Business Forum.
  • (1995–1999) : Director of the Limpopo Development Corporation (LIMDEV).
  • (1997–1998) : Served as Managing Director of Africa Now Consulting (Pty) Ltd.
  • (1998–2000) : Served as Executive Director Plus 94 Research (Pty) Ltd. Tirhani continues to be a Non-Executive Director of Plus 94 Research to date.
  • (2000–Date) Executive Chairperson of Tirhani Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd.
  • (2003–Date) : Qualified as an Auctioneer and has since conducted hundreds of auctions selling thousands of vehicles, real estate, livestock and game.
  • (2006–Date) : CEO of Corporation du Developpement Centrafricaine (CDC).
  • (2006–Date) : Director of the Taxi Scrapping Administrator (TSA).
  • (2007–Date) : Executive Chairperson of Rixaka Group.
  • (2007–Date) : Member of the National Auctioneers Association (NAA), an American based professional association with more than 6000 practicing auctioneers.
  • (2009–Date) : Executive Chairperson of ATASA
  • (2009–2010) : Served as Chairperson of RealNet Holdings.
  • (2009–2013) : Chairperson of the South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA).
  • (2010–Date) : Executive Chairperson of Dream Tree Properties.
  • (2013–Date) : Executive Chairperson of Tirhani Foundation NPC.
  • (2015–Date) : Chairperson of the South African Professional Auctioneers Association (SAPAA).
  • (2015–Date) : Non-Executive Director of the Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA).
  • (2016–Date) : Executive Chairperson of Nyukani Education Centre (NEC Giyani).
  • (2017–Date) : Executive Chairperson of Centre for Enterpriseneurship.
Tirhani holds the following educational qualifications and designations:

  • Diploma in Public Admin from the University of the North (1984).
  • BA from the University of the North (1987).
  • Higher Ed. Diploma from Unisa (1989).
  • Honours in Business Administration from the University of Stellenbosch (1993)
  • Diploma in Auctioneering from the SA College of Auctioneering (2003).
  • Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate from the National Auctioneers Association (NAA), US (2008).
  • Benefit Auction Specialist from the NAA, US (2008).
  • Chartered Institute Auctioneer (CAI) from the University of Indiana NAA, US (2010).
  • Chartered Practitioner in Real Estate (CPRE) designation by the Services SETA (2010).
  • PhD (MOTI): Management of Technology and Innovation with Da Vinci Institute (2017)


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