After completing his B Com degree at the University of Pretoria in 1986 Mr van Tonder was elected as Vice President for the South African chapter of the International Association of Economics and Commerce Students (AIESEC) where he represented South Africa in various international forums. After that Mr van Tonder joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1989. During his time as a Diplomat he represented South Africa in Mozambique, United States of America and Tunisia. On his return from Tunisia Mr van Tonder joined Consulting Engineers South Africa in 2002 as their Manager of the International Business Development Section. In 2008 he was appointed as CEO of the Built Environment Professionals Export Council. During this time Mr van Tonder participated in a large number of business development visits to both the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Mr van Tonder held that position until 2013 when he joined CSM Consultants as Business Development Manager. CSM is a multidisciplinary firm in the built environment and he actively assisted in project development and marketing services to clients in all disciplines of engineering, Architecture and Quantity Surveying. In 2016 Mr van Tonder joined Africa House as Manager: Business Development.