Neil joined the anti-apartheid movement in the early ’80s. His involvement in student, youth and church organisations in the ’80s and ’90s developed in him a strong sense of equality and justice. He joined the department of Land Affairs soon after the first democratic elections and later joined the National Treasury. He currently serves as the head of a regional organisation that provides capacity building to African governments in the area of budgeting, public debt and value for money in public spending. His work in Africa has given him an intimate knowledge of the political, social and economic challenges faced by African governments.