Frikkie Brooks has a long history, as well as much experience in strategic and spatial planning as well as development facilitation in the public sector
Staying true to yourself and living your values is essential
Frikkie Brooks has a long history, as well as much experience in strategic and spatial planning as well as development facilitation in the public sector.
Brooks qualified as a geography teacher after completing a BA (Ed) at the University of Pretoria in 1978. He then went on to complete a BA (Hons), with a Masters in Geography and Development Studies, University of Pretoria, 1980 - 1981, and a B Ed (Hons) with a Masters in Management, University of Pretoria, 1987 – 1989.
His 40-year career in the government sector include being the former:
• Acting Head of Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (KZN)
• Acting Director-General of KZN Province
• Deputy Director-General: Strategic Management in the KZN Office of the Premier
• Head of Secretariat for the KZN Provincial Planning Commission
In his role at the KZN Provincial Planning Commission, Brooks was responsible for overseeing the establishment of the new provincial growth and development strategy and plans for the province. In addition to the strategy’s development he was responsible for getting it institutionalised and implemented.
Brooks is now the director of Brooks Facilitation Services. Of his decision to establish his own agency he explains, “Although I had to retire from Government, it wasn’t quite time for me to retire in the true sense of retirement.”
Brooks Facilitation Services focuses on guiding business, civil society and/or government entities to develop clear strategies to achieve corporate or project specific goals. This guidance is provided through structured engagements aimed at developing win-win solutions.
He says, “One realises that strategies and plans only make a difference when they are translated into projects. Therefore, the facilitation service that I have established is really to help facilitate large scale catalytic projects and to get them to be implemented as quickly as possible. Those are the projects that will make a difference to the lives of the eleven million people who live in this province.”
“There are some strict criteria that I have laid down for myself and what I get involved in and what I won’t get involved in. Five projects that I am involved in have the potential to develop almost 50 000 jobs in the province. Although the challenges are huge you know that the projects out there have the potential to really deliver something at the end of the day that can make a difference.”
In speaking of his achievements Brooks reflects that he always likes to think that there is room for improvement. “I am not the type of person who likes to say I have done my best, personally I always think I could do more,” he explains.
His motivation to achieve has been inspired by the many of the people who have come across his way over the years. However, he says that his family – who have always supported me and provided structure are really important to him. In addition, the people who are striving to make a difference in communities in which he works are hugely inspirational.
In order to succeed in this line of work he says, I have had successes and I think that staying true to yourself and living your values is essential. If you want people to respect you then you have to respect others and that does not just mean respecting your superiors or your principals but it also means respecting the people that you are working with. If you do not treat them with respect you will not receive respect and if there is no mutual respect between you and whoever you work with you will not succeed.”
Brooks added, “I think that one of the things that I am most proud of is that in my 40 years of government service it’s not that I have not taken any bribes, its more that I was never offered any. People knew from the way that I operated that would be an absolute no-go area.”
In his free time Brooks is an avid gardener. “I am a geographer by training, so nature is where I find myself at home. I like to relax in the garden, it does get my mind into all sorts of other gears.”