Partnering for better impact in education

13 March 2013

The Kagiso Trust and Shanduka Foundation this week announced a ground-breaking partnership in education that  will have a significant impact on the quality of learning at over 400 Free State schools.

Kagiso Trust, one of South Africa’s biggest education NGOs, and Shanduka Foundation, a vehicle for Shanduka Group's social investment initiatives, signed a memorandum of understanding  (MOU)with the Free State Department of Education in Johannesburg on Tuesday 12 March 2013.

The MOU was signed by Free State MEC for Education Tate Makgoe, Kagiso Trust chairman Dean Zwo Nevhutalu, and Shanduka Foundation chairman Cyril Ramaphosa. The signing was witnessed by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga.

Each organisation has committed to spending R100 million over five years, a spend that will be matched by the Free State Department of Education (DOE). This will see an investment of R400 million that will benefit over 400 schools in the Fezile Dabi district and in Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu in the Motheo district.  

As the largest private sector intervention in education in South Africa, the partnership will see the implementation of a new model for whole school development. This new model brings together the successful approaches developed by the Kagiso Trust’s Beyers Naude School Development Programme (BNSDP) and Shanduka’s Adopt-a-School Foundation. The intention is that this model will in future be replicated across other districts and provinces.

At the signing event on Tuesday, Kagiso Trust chairman Zwo Nevhutalu said: “We formed this partnership because we found people whose passion and heart are where our passion and heart are, in education. We are aware of the challenges of our leadership in education and therefore we need mobilisation of society to make this work.”

Shanduka Foundation and Kagiso Trust will combine their resources, knowledge and best-practice whole school development models to make a sustainable difference. By collaborating with the Free State DOE the partners will harness the best that each has to offer and maximise the impact on schools. Already Kagiso Trust has been able to leverage government funds in a more meaningful way and assist government to spend its funds more efficiently in the right areas.

Kagiso Trust already has a successful partnership with government, which in 2012 resulted in an average 81% pass rate by BNSDP Grade 12 learners, including 30% bachelor passes and 44% diploma passes.

Shanduka’s Adopt-a -School Foundation has 167 schools under adoption across the country, and in 2012 started working in Lesotho and Mozambique.

“We're aiming at contributing to the strengthening of the delivery of education in our country," Shanduka Foundation chairman Cyril Ramaphosa said. He added: “We hope that past the launch and the execution of our plans we can draw more partners and entities, so that we can spread our work to other parts of the country. We’ll be walking with government and not riding their coat tails in this partnership where performance will be the order of the day. It is a time for the Education Department to trust us, match us and work with us to be examples to other organisations and entities to copy.”

“Collaboration is what is needed to advance the development of education in South Africa,” he said.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said the initiative showed that education is truly becoming a societal issue. “It is a vital cog in the transformation of education,” she said.

About the Kagiso Trust

The long history of Kagiso Trust (KT) is entrenched in building sustainable partnerships for poverty eradication. For over 20 years, KT has worked with South Africans to achieve a society which offers liberty, justice and freedom from poverty. The core business of KT is empowering poor marginalized South Africans so as to affirm their place and participation in the larger social institution. KT pursues an organisational development strategy that seeks to maximize its unique strength of relating to ordinary people, particularly in rural communities, as well as its’ considerable experience in development facilitation to identify sustainable solutions towards poverty eradication.

It currently has three programmes, the Beyers Naude Schools Development Programme, the Eric Molobi Scholarship Programme and the Kagiso Enterprises Rural Private Equity Fund. For more information, please visit

About Shanduka Foundation

When the Shanduka Foundation was launched in 2004, Shanduka Group made a commitment to spend R100 million on corporate social investments over ten years. Shanduka is well on track to achieve this goal, having spent R82 million to date. In addition, when Shanduka was founded, 5% of its shareholding was set aside for two trusts: Fundani, an educational trust, and Mabindu, a small