Fred Wörner, Managing Director of Skema Holdings, provided the foresight and impetus for the development of Mahathunzi. Armed with a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Natal Pietermaritzburg, Wörner began his commercial career in 1984 as an accountant overseeing the Sorghum and Beer Division at Kwa-Zulu Finance Investment Corporation before moving to the Investment Division, where he managed a portfolio of companies within the Industrial Development Estates at Ezakheni and Isithebe.

In 1988 Wörner invested into one of his existing clients’ companies Skema Engineering which had been established in Isithebe in 1971. Initially holding the reins of Financial Director, Wörner then bought out the Company in 1990, changed the name to Skema Holdings, and expanded the manufacturing division for the global export market in 1991.

With a long term view on diversification, Skema Holdings initially purchased two game farms in 2001 adjacent to Hilton College. A third farm was then added to the portfolio later that year and then a further two farms were purchased in 2002. Initially focusing on breeding disease free Buffalo and White Rhino, Wörner engaged the services of Wildlife and Ecological Consultants to successfully rehabilitate the individual farms into a larger wildlife area and grew the wildlife populations considerably.

In 2004 Wörner conceptualized and developed a 5 star Safari Spa on one of these properties which culminated in the opening of Karkloof Safari Spa in September 2008. With a vision of creating an opportunity to live amongst wildlife, with a minimal footprint on the landscape, and no change in land use, Wörner started the development approach for his second undertaking Mahathunzi in 2012. In 2014 the realization of this vision finally became a reality.

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