Board Members

Founders Members

Chris Barr

Chris (Barr) spent 40 years in the IT industry, occupying senior positions both in South Africa and abroad.

He and Jenny fell in love with Murraysburg in 2006 and moved here permanently in 2012.

Chris was instrumental in securing the funding for the rehabilitation of the “Rooidam” project.

The creation of the Murraysburg Sustainable Development Council arose from his experiences over many years in dealing with Local and Provincial government structures.

Chris is a strategist/futurist by training and he is passionate about Murraysburg and its people.

His other interests include IT Consulting, restoring interesting vehicles and heritage buildings.

Willem Avenant

WR Avenant

WR Avenant, like his mother before him, grew up in Murraysburg. He is passionate about Murraysburg, its people, the surrounding area, and the Karoo in general. WR believes you cannot defend something that you don't have a personal connection to, and therefore, he strives to give people the "Karoo experience"

WR trained as an arborist in the U.K., worked in Alaska, and now owns a Tree Specialist business in Cape Town.  He divides his time between Murraysburg and Cape Town.  He organizes trail runs in Murraysburg through his Karoo Running brand, and is passionate about sharing the beauty of this special part of the Karoo with people.  He was also very involved in starting the official anti-fracking lobby in South Africa, as fracking is threatening to destroy the Karoo. He enjoys climbing, running, Land Rovers, and motorcycles.

Adri Smit

Adri Smit is a driven person that work towards making things happen. Her academic background in Tourism Management and Visual Communication, and 13 years of experience, provides her with a unique blend of insight and abilities.

For the last 8 years, she has been an active humanitarian, working with the KDF (Karoo development Foundation) and broader Karoo community. In Murraysburg self, she created the towns’ website ( and has actively been working on different recycling projects. Lessons was learned from her previous recycling attempts and she is currently working on an intergraded, comprehensive recycling project for Murraysburg.

Adri Smit

Izak Van der Merwe