Young Grower, Young Retailer & Young Sales Representative Awards

These awards were created to acknowledge young SANA members and employees under the age of 35 who excel and perform above expectation. These awards celebrate individuals judged on their outstanding work, dependability and flexibility, initiative, interpersonal relations, teamwork and general value to their organisations.

Young Retailer 2016
Nonkumbuzo (Lucy) Baba

Young Grower 2016
Hennie Toxopeus

Young Sales Representative 2016
Owen Hlebela

Nonkumbuzo (Lucy) Baba is currently a Nursery Specialist of our biggest category within our Nursery Department.

She had been working for us in our Indoor department for 7 years where she had shown us her consistent high standards and quality of work, along with a fantastic attitude of constantly willing to improve and try new things even in the face of adversity.

Managers came and went in that department yet Lucy remained and kept up the team spirit in her department. A promotional opportunity came along within the Nursery department and true to form Lucy put herself forward.

Even though it was in an area of knowledge where she was unfamiliar and now in her first Supervisor role, she diligently read up on plants in her free time on her own initiative to further her knowledge and to better herself, as well as working closely with Senior Managers to learn Supervisory skills from them.

This resulted in improved sales and customer relations and less than 6 months after moving to the Nursery Department she was promoted once again to the largest category (in sales and profit contribution) where she currently works.

Lucy has shown everyone that true hard work, determination and a positive attitude can lead to endless possibilities. We are incredibly proud of her and cannot imagine Stodels without her!

Hennie is more than just a third generation Grower in the Toxopeus Family – he is also a passionate hard working young man and a huge asset to Avedore Nursery.

Hennie is Director of Operations at Avedore Nurseries and since his arrival the business has gone from strength to strength.

Hennie is an exceptional entrepreneur. He quickly realized water is a scarce commodity and implemented water efficient irrigation systems.

Under Hennie’s guidance, Avedore is being transformed to specialise in the propagation of a wide variety of exceptional quality Standards of different lengths. He is constantly testing new shrub varieties that can be trained into Standards. All Standards are machine cut and uniform.

He rightly says “We need to propagate the most uniform product on the market at a reasonable price”.

Definitely not just a sample truck driver or an order taker. His friendly and positive approach to clients makes him and through that, the company he works for stand out from the crowd.

He knows his product well and not only shows buyers the availability from the truck he sells it. He follows through to his managers with anything he can’t answer.

This Award recognizes his dedication and commitment to making sure his employers company is seen as one of the best.


Young Grower 2015

Hugo Proper

Young Retailer 2015

Frik Dreyer

Young Sales Representative 2015

Johan du Preez

Hugo Proper

A third generation SANA Member from a family well known for producing excellent products he is described as a very enthusiastic, hard-working and dedicated young man.
He is always trying to find ways of improving and expanding the business as cost effective and productive as possible. His quality of work is excellent, proof of which is shown in the product leaving the nursery.

His use of biologic control instead of harmful pesticides is also a sign of his commitment to enhance the environment.
He is an outstanding, dependable and very encouraging team leader. He works hand in hand with his people and is always available to help where he possibly can.

As the new generation has started to play a bigger role in the business it has been exciting to see the new found enthusiasm for the company brand. Growing plants to a high standard continues under his watch and we have seen introductions of new lines and new varieties to the range. He also encourages others to find new ways of developing the industry.

His sunny disposition is a huge asset to not just the company but also to SANA.

Frik Dreyer

As a student he worked part time in the garden centre and soon found a passion and natural flair for gardening and landscaping.
After his studies he joined the garden centre full time and soon became an indispensable member of the team.

Today his responsibilities include many of the buying decisions and day to day duties in the running of the store. His displays and merchandising are of a high standard and contribute to the good results achieved in the GCA competition.

He is well liked and respected by the staff and is a role model for diligence and good work ethic.

Johan du Preez

A familiar face in the green industry he not only reps on the road, his presence at trade shows helps to build the business and he is seen by many as a brand ambassador.

He has a natural flair for gardening and all things related to gardening. These qualities as well as his delightful, charming demeanour make him an absolute asset to the business.

He has built strong, trusting relationships with all his customers, and his presence and input at talks is always welcome.

Not only in terms of sales. His creative abilities, knowledge and experience have helped to not only build the Starke Ayres business, but the business of all the garden centres that he services.


These two awards were created to acknowledge young SANA members and employees under the age of 35 who excel and perform above expectation. These awards celebrate individuals judged ont hgeir outstanding work, dependability and flexibility, initiative, interpersonal relations, teamwork and general value to their organisations.

Young Grower & Young Retailer Awards 2014

Young Grower

Candice Nightingale

Her positive attitude, willingness to learn and energy have helped revitalise the production area where she has overall responsibility for all the plant growing in the young plant division of Ball Straathofs.

She has a direct impact on the quality for millions of plants grown from seed and cuttings each year and has improved the company’s ability to produce difficult but popular crops.

The improved quality has a direct influence on their customer’s product in their nursery and at retail. Her plants are ultimately sold right across the country so they have a big impact on the industry.

Young Retailer

Monicque Hills

A second generation SANA Member our recipient joined the family business in 2003.

Having an interest in graphic design and décor she quickly found a niche in the business in the home décor side as well as in the marketing. Today all the indoor buying and giftware are her main day to day responsibilities along with coordinating all the promotional activity.

She joined the Garden Pavilion Marketing Committee and continued to grow her portfolio of marketing experience. Working with a national marketing campaign her enthusiasm and creative energy soon had her playing a more and more pivotal role in the group.

She increased the Christmas décor sales to grow the department in the family retail. After a few short years this department which is hers to run has become an integral part of the business.


Young Grower & Young Retailer Awards 2013

Young Grower

Young Grower Award : Dewald Scholtz

Dewald Scholtz is 27 years’ of age and responsible for growing and producing indigenous trees, form plants and summer colour at Bristle Cone Nursery. Dewald trained and worked at the Hilliers Nursery Group in England for two years in 2004 and 2005.

Aside from being responsible for the quality control of the product, he is also responsible for producing and growing the product. He manages the Bosfontein Growers Area of the Bristle Cone Nursery in Brits and is solely responsible for the production and management of the farm, as well as the staff of the farm.

He is also a member of the IPPS and is especially interested in the growth, production and quality control of his product. He has an outstanding rapport with his staff and is a very trustworthy person. He is truly an asset to our trade.

Young Retailer

Young Retailer Award : Willie McDonald Ngwamba

Willy joined Builders Express 5 years ago. His store received a Bronze award in the Garden Centre Competition in 2010 and he immediately took up the challenge. He has an amazing work ethic and takes criticism as a challenge.

Even through 3 store manager changes he managed to inspire his team and convince managers of the importance of the garden section. Working all the time to improve the service and product quality he and his team offers their customers.Under his supervision Builders Express Robindale received a Gold in the 2011Garden Centre Competition and in 2012 they where best Home store in Gauteng.

He keeps on working hard to find ways to implement standards set in the Garden Centre competition in the Mass mart corporate environment. He adds value to the group as a whole by sharing information and ideas with other branches.His soft spoken humble way makes him a favourite with customers.


Young Grower & Young Retailer Awards 2012

Young Grower Award : Bart van Geest

Young Grower Award : Bart van Geest

It is widely known that the products of LVG Plants (Van Geest family – production facility for Plantimex) is of high quality. A big part of the success can be attributed to the dedication of Bart van Geest, that together with his brother Geert, is continuing the legacy of their father Lous van Geest who has retired.

Bart is quality driven, committed, shows initiative and determination. He is proud of his work, neat & punctual and strives for perfection. He is a deserving recipient of this award.

Young Retailer Award : Dane Ross

Young Retailer Award : Dane Ross

A very hands-on approach and passion for retailing together with extensive plant knowledge makes this candidate worthy of being the Young Retailer of the year.

As his involvement in the garden centre increased he was instrumental in identifying the needs of the business to diversify to attract a new generation of customers as well as improving the offering to existing clients. Animals is his other passion and though developing a large pet department he has dynamically changed the way the garden centre is managed.

In the garden centre he plays an important role in the day to day running of the garden centre and is a role model to his staff through is commitment and work ethic. He not only holds training sessions and numerous talks in his garden centre he also finds time to give back to the community through vegetable gardens implemented in rural schools.


Young Grower & Young Retailer Awards 2011

Young Grower Award : Peter Van Rooyen

Young Grower Award : Peter Van Rooyen

As a young grower Peter van Rooyen already shows plenty of initiative and determination. His commitment to growing a quality product has seen Planthaven being one of the producers of the Proven Winners range as well as an expanded range of perennials and shrubs.

He has been instrumental in exposing Planthaven to new markets and has made a positive contribution in expanding the business footprint.

Peter is already and active member of SANA particularly in KZN. He is also a supporter of Trade Fairs & Convention. We belive Peter with go from strength to strength in his business and is an asset to our industry.

Young Retailer Award : Tumelo Motshwane

Young Retailer Award : Tumelo Motshwane

At 25 years of age, Tumelo Motshwane is an invaluable team member in the Skukuza Indigenous Nursery. Tumelo is the office assistant and has the remarkable ability to interact with customers, providing information about our indigenous plants while also ensuring that admin and financial issues are impeccably managed and all SANParks policies and procedures are adhered too.

Tumelo is a friendly, reliable, dependable and leads the nursery staff with the example of neat appearance, consistently working at a high standard while also always being willing to learn more about our wonderful SA flora from other SANParks staff and visitors alike.


Young Grower & Young Retailer Awards 2010

Ilse van Wyk

Congratulations to Ilse van Wyk of Stodels Nurseries Bellville on receiving the Young Retailer Award.

Luise Ehrich

Congratulation to Dr Luise Ehrich of New Plant Nursery, recipient of the Young Growers Award.


Previous recipients

Year Young Grower Young Retailer Young Sales Rep
2010 Luise Ehrich Ilse van Wyk
2011 Peter van Rooyen Thumelo Motshwane
2012 Bart van Geest Dane Ross
2013 Dewald Scholtz Willie Ngwamba
2014 Candice Nightingale Monicque Hills
2015 Hugo Proper jr Frik Dreyer Johan du Preez