Our team is driven by a passion to empower youth and to see real transformation within the construction and engineering environment. Together, we bring a wealth of experience, skills, networks and inspiration that we know is a recipe for success.


The KYA directors are fully invested in the business, working daily to achieve our organisational objectives and fulfil our values.

Alf Pain
Alf is actively involved in the marketing of KYA and leverages his network, experience and passion for people development daily to ensure its success.

Alf, the founding member and Managing Director of Keystone Project Recruitment (KPR), has vast experience in recruiting, management and execution of projects, in the industrial, minerals and mining sectors. His passion for the industry and the desire to assist in its transformation led to his founding of KFYDF, later rebranded KYA.

Alf’s professional experience and proficiency includes Business Management, Design & Engineering of Conveyor System, Project Execution Management and Business Development. Alf is a Mechanical Engineer by profession, previously registered (Reg No 997002) as a Professional Technologist Mechanical Engineering. He is currently registered as a Professional Construction Manager (Reg. No. D885/2005)
Zenobia Patel As a core member of the Executive Team at KPR, Zenobia was directly involved in the formulation and establishment of Keystone Youth Academy (KYA) and remains committed to helping transform the industry, one young person at time.

Zenobia is the Financial Director of Keystone Project Recruitment (KPR) and is herself an example of empowerment and development, having begun her career at KPR as secretary in 2003 and being rapidly promoted through the organisation. Zenobia achieved her ICB Financial Accounting Qualification in 2018 but has also completed a host of courses in a wide range of subjects, from First Aid to Payroll Tax, Skills Development and People Management.

She is committed to furthering her studies and continually expanding her knowledge and skills. Zenobia is keenly aware of the fact that her experience in the workplace makes her uniquely able to coach and mentor her team. She is actively involved in the nurturing and empowerment of her staff, especially young black women who show promise, but lack the skills and efficiency to advance themselves. By sharing her knowledge and personal experiences, she empowers her mentees in a highly personal and relatable way.
Zonke Mkhwanazi Zonke Mkhwanazi is an accomplished teacher, facilitator, moderator and assessor, with over 40 years of experience in education and training. She is the owner of Gain Learning, a Training Consultancy service provider based in Johannesburg.

In 2008, Zonke enrolled on a training programme for Skills Development Facilitators through Services SETA. She was then referred to KPR as a company contributing to, but not benefitting from Workplace Skills Planning (WSP) regulations.

She began her association with KPR by submitting Annual Training Reports (ATRs) to Services SETA on the company’s behalf. Over the course of the following 8 years, a close association between KPR and Zonke developed, so when the idea for KYA was first mooted, Zonke’s skills and experience in Unit Standard-based facilitation and Soft Skills training made her a natural partner in the development and formation of KYA. Her thorough grasp of the limitations inherent in available training programmes has significantly informed and guided the development of the unique KYA Programme.