Change the world


Protecting our environment and endangered marine life and the immense importance of the ocean, was the reason behind Andrea Govender’s Master’s in Accounting research, which created environmental awareness from an auditing perspective.

She also developed a corporate governance framework for organisations to better comply with marine and environmental legislation.

Andrea, who is a lecturer in Accounting at Nelson Mandela University, will be graduating on 15 December.  

Together with her supervisor Professor Houdini Fourie, she embarked on a Master’s in Accounting topic that joined forces with the Oceans Sciences Campus at the University.

The topic was also the first of its kind in the School of Accounting and is the start of many collaborations to come in future, she says.

“As a university, we value our environment, and should all be doing our part to raise awareness and protect our worlds unique biodiversity”, Andrea says.

Her research findings showed that non-compliance to marine and environmental legislation in Algoa Bay was rife and causing immense damage to the environment despite the positive impact on the ocean’s economy such as job creation.

It was evident that a strategy for a corporate governance framework was needed to streamline compliance and improve the oceans health as well as protect marine life and resources.

Over the past decades there has been a drastic decline in our ocean’s health that has resulted in fish depletion as well as marine life endangerment, specifically the African Penguin in Algoa Bay.

This is largely due to human and economic activities such as commercial fishing, ship-to-ship bunkering and dumping of waste material at sea. The lack of governance and law enforcement has been a catalyst to the ocean’s fast approaching death, she says.

Although many laws and legislation direct and encourage appropriate behaviour to preserve the ocean and marine life as well as ensure equality and equal access, the follow through and adherence have been lacking.

Andrea interviewed owners and managers from organisations in Algoa Bay to gauge the level of compliance to marine and environmental legislation. The impact of those maritime operations on the ocean’s economy as well as the environmental impact on the ocean, marine life and society were also investigated.

“The ocean is considered life as it produces almost half of our oxygen and absorbs over 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. In addition, the ocean is home to an array of ecosystems, marine life and resources that are vital to us as humans and our planet, she says.

Andrea hopes to register for her PhD in 2022 and would love to focus her research on the ocean’s economy structure, which is a relatively novel topic. And particularly how foreign companies affect our job opportunities and our GDP in South Africa.

She was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg where she also studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She moved to Gqeberha at the beginning of 2019 to start her journey as an academic at Mandela University.

Contact information
Ms Andrea Govender
Tel: 041 504 2179