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a word from

corporate affairs As we wrap up and wind the year down, Kagiso Trust is excited to announce the launch of its Annual Report. As part of commemorating Kagiso Trust’s (KT) 25 years in creating sustainable development models towards the transformation of societies, KT hosted a celebration event to present its investment plan in education and enterprise development as well as launch its Annual Report.


s we reflect on what we’ve achieved in this time, we also look back on where we come from and just how much we’ve achieved. With our history steeped in our unwavering commitment to building sustainable partnerships for poverty eradication, our personnel and our development models, operational and empowerment principles are our greatest assets in successfully contributing to the national agenda for growth and a better life for all. In pursuance of achieving its commitment to social justice processes, KT has come full swing and has repositioned itself from being a donor organisation to a development agency in education and rural enterprise development. As we reflect on our involvement and milestones in empowering poor and marginalised South Africans, Kagiso Trust continues to seek new ways of enhancing the quality of education for all as well as bridging the gap between the poor and the rich by encouraging support for rural schools and enterprise development programmes. As 2011 comes to an end, KT would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners, including NGOs, private, government, labour and civil sectors who have supported us in making a difference towards the transformation of our education system as well as enterprise development. As we celebrate our milestones we look forward to tackling the next 25 years with the same tenacity and vigour for uplifting communities in South Africa.


Looking back on 25 years Chairperson of the board - Zwo Nevhutalu


agiso Trust (KT / the Trust) was established in 1986 as a mechanism to channel funds from the European Union’s Special programme for the support of victims of Apartheid. The Trust grew from a small unit managed by two people in 1986 to a national operation of close to 100 people in the 1990s, with the budget growing from R15 million to R250 million per annum by the early 1990s. In the early days, KT built itself up through transparently managing over 700 funding contracts in various partnerships across the globe. In addition, the Trust managed its own bursary fund which supported more than 25 000 previously disadvantaged black students at various educational institutions who are today part of leadership in business and government. Kagiso Trust further contributed R16 million towards the establishment of the Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa, today known as the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Over the period 1986 to 1999 the Trust managed and disbursed over R1.2 billion of donor money with a high level of integrity. However, with the dawn of democracy in South Africa, Kagiso Trust’s funding partners indicated that Non-Profit Organisations would no longer receive traditional (anti-apartheid) funding. Kagiso Trust was thus at a cross roads and had three options: to close business as the Trust had played its role in contributing towards the attainment of a non-racial and democratic South Africa; to merge with other development organisations; or to reengineer and develop a plan to sustain the activities and the role of the Kagiso Trust beyond donor funding. The Trust chose the latter, and in 1993 Kagiso Trust, conceptualised an innovative strategy that would ensure sustainability through the establishment of Kagiso Trust Investments PTY Ltd (in December 1993). KTI was set up with 3 objectives; namely i. to act as a vehicle to support the work of the Trust through dividend income; ii.


Drive and promote transformation in business as key to sustainable success and profitability; iii. as well as act as a home for black professionals. KTI has grown from a company worth R25 million to being worth R4.5billion, a great milestone achieved in 17 years. With a constant stream of dividend income from Kagiso Trust Investments (since 2005), the Trust has remained true to its core focus on community development with a major focus on education.I would therefore like to take this opportunity to give credit to my fellow Patrons, Trustees as well as the management team for their forward looking approach in ensuring KT’s sustainability into the future. Your leadership, vision and commitment to Kagiso Trust is inspiration to us all, and has really played a great role in ensuring KT’s success and what it is today.

The success of the BNSDP has recently been visible in the demand-driven expansion of the programme in other provinces. Transforming dysfunctional rural high schools into vibrant learning communities, the BNSDP has succeeded in areas where most other school transformation programmes have failed. Through the Eric Molobi Scholarship Programme, KT has nurtured a network of vibrant young leaders who inspire and remind their peers that financial success in the future demands the redressing of socio-economic injustices through commitment in education development in South Africa.

The Kagiso Enterprises Private Rural Equity Fund has started engaging entrepreneurs and small businesses in rural areas and through it a number of important lessons are emerging for us as key 2005 also presented an additional milestone in the pillars of sustainable rural enterprise development. sustainable development of Kagiso Trust. During this year, KT became part of the FIRSTRAND Group’s We pride ourselves on being an innovative Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) transaction. organisation in our response to the development The transaction involved the distribution of challenges faced by the country. Through education R200m to the FirstRand Empowerment Trust’s BEE and rural enterprise development programmes, we are certain that we are packaging development beneficiaries, which included Kagiso Trust. methodologies that will make a sustained positive Furthermore, 2011 presented another great impact in rural communities. milestone towards KT achieving its agenda in Beyond 25 years in development creating a sustainable development organisation. Kagiso Trust Investments merged with the Tiso from good to great Group to form Kagiso Tiso Holdings, a company The Kagiso Trust is committed to working with currently worth more than R8billion. With the integrity and seeking new opportunities and will expected dividend flow from both Kagiso Tiso remain dedicated to developing communities. Holdings and the FirstRand Group, Kagiso Trust has Going forward, the future of the Kagiso Trust looks been able to diversify its income stream in ensuring very bright, especially as we begin to explore the continuity of its development work and agenda. new ways of sharing our best practice models Kagiso Trust has thus succeeded in securing its nationally and internationally and look at new and sustainable ways of reaching even more future beyond dependence on donor funding. schools and communities. Furthermore, KT hopes Repositioning the organisations to share its sustainable development philosophy Over the past 6 years, KT has piloted and by encouraging marginalised communities to own implemented the Beyers Naude Schools economic assets as well as design development Development Programme (BNSDP), Eric Molobi programmes that impact and transform government Scholarship Programme (EMSP) as well as the programmes aimed at delivery. Kagiso Enterprises Rural Private Equity Fund (KERPEF). Dean Zwo Nevhutalu Kagiso Trust Chair Person

Education Has poor return of investment for economy 20% of the national budget is spent on education but the results are poor year on year. says Minister of Finance


peaking at the 25th anniversary celebrations of Kagiso Trust, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan highlighted that the approach to transforming education in South Africa had to change as the investment made was not yielding any returns. “Organisations involved in education like Kagiso Trust is doing, need to find a way to improve the outputs of the sector as poor growth in education is a serious limitation to the growth of the economy”, says Minister Gordhan. Kagiso Trust’s story is entwined in South Africa’s rich but troubled history, having been formed to assist young black learners suffering under the inferior Bantu education system during the dark Apartheid years. Founding members include anti-apartheid activists Eric Molobi and Beyers Naude, while Archbishop Desmond Tutu remains as one if its founding trustees, and as such the Kagiso Trust remains the oldest and most respected black-led NGO in South Africa. The organisation is still transforming South Africa through its pioneering education and enterprise development models, 25 years on. The Beyers Naude Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) focuses on full transformation of rural schools from governance to educator skills development and has over 200 schools which are currently part of the programme.

The Eric Molobi Scholarship Programme (EMSP) provides bursaries to talented learners from the BNSDP schools, who come from very poor backgrounds. One EMSP student is Takalani Netshia from Limpopo, now a civil engineer working in Pretoria, who also attended the anniversary celebrations of Kagiso Trust. “From high school onwards, Kagiso Trust has supported me every step of the way. Without their mentorship and support I definitely would not be where I am today,” says Netshia. “I encourage all young learners, especially those currently studying for their final exams, to focus all their energy on their schooling. Education has provided a better life not only for me, but for my whole family back home, who I am now able to support.” The Minister of Finance went on to commend Kagiso Trust on their role in education over the years saying, “Kagiso Trust represents the very best of South Africa. It embodies the values of integrity, sacrifice and Ubuntu which is so lacking in the world today. It is only through this attitude of accountability to others will education and in essence South Africa be transformed”.

Our goal has always been to equip people with the skills they need to develop and succeed. Education is one of those key skills. Our work is about partnerships, transferable models, accountability and long term, sustainable development for our communities. It has been this way for 25 years and in the next quartetr of a century, we have a very specific and robust strategy to continue transforming the education system in the country and driving the economic development of our people and the nation”. “The challenge for economies worldwide is not making money, the challenge is providing employment opportunities for their citizens, and getting education right is the first step in the right direction,” concludes Minister Gordhan.

Kgotso Schoeman, the CEO of Kagiso Trust said, “The role of Kagiso Trust has never been to merely educate people.


The Time For Talk is Over Rev. Boesak

Article by Thabiso Gamede Published in Eastern Free State Issue on 15 Sep. 2011


he University of the Free State QwaQwa campus seems to be the centre of attraction. They, in conjunction with the Kagiso Trust, hosted Rev. Allan Boesak in celebration of Dr. Beyers Naude’s life and legacy during a Beyers Naude Memorial Lecture recently. Earlier this year Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State Prof. Jonathan Jansen delivered the first lecture to celebrate Dr. Beyers Naude’s life and legacy. “It is fitting because of what has been happening in our country in the past few weeks, in political and social events in which the ANC Youth League played a central role. It is not my intention to analyze the Youth League’s policy utterances, their political fight with their mother body, or what motivations are behind the ANC’s desire to discipline the Youth League leadership.” “One thing we are witnessing is not just some inexplicable, despicable thing that spontaneously erupted from within the hearts of those young people who protested, burnt ANC flags and Zuma T-shirts, and attacked police as well as reporters only doing their jobs near Albert Luthuli House. They are the children of a deliberately created culture, a culture of disdain for the poor in favour of blatant self-enrichment and the glorification of vile ostentation. The exchange of humility and service for entitlement and crass materialism, the displacement of solidarity and Ubuntu by the abuse of power and ruthless self-interest,” stated Rev. Boesak. 06

“The House with that venerable name faces a square called Beyers Naude Square, named after the man in whose memory we are gathered today. Across that square and in front of that House we saw scenes that spell out the hard choices we have to make, not just the ANC, but all of us, for at stake is much more than just the politics within the ruling party.” “The title for my talk today is a key sentence in an article written by Beyers Naude in October 1970, significantly the article bore the title ‘The Parting of the Ways.’ In that article, Naude defends his public support of the World Council of Churches’ Programme to Combat Racism started in 1969, and more specifically its decision in 1970 to start a “Special Fund,” a fund meant to give financial support for the humanitarian programmes of the Southern African liberation movement,” he added. Rev. Boesak also pointed out that in 1970 Naude discovered that those words were not enough. The ecumenical movement gave him the opportunity to turn the deepest of his convictions into action. He chose solidarity with black people, not on the basis of charity or some vague notion of liberal politics, but in their struggles for justice and on the basis of faith. He did not choose violence, and neither was that the intention and choice of the World Council of Churches. Rev. Boesak said, “There is the growing gap between rich and poor in our country, the unconscionable ostentation, the vulgar display of ill-gotten wealth and the casual normalisation

of corruption, and we hear his warnings about capitalism and greed, and the need for us to seek a more just, equitable economic system. Instead we have uncritically and eagerly embraced neoliberal capitalism with the excuse of historicallydetermined globalisation pressures. “On June 12, 1973, Beyers Naude spoke in Durban. He appealed to the government of the day to understand that the future security of our country does not lie in a consensus of white opinion, but rather “a consensus of white and black opinion,” to white people “to speak and act before it is too late” and he appealed to black people to prepare for the day on which they would be truly free. That was his hope. When he died, democracy had come, but his hope had not been realised, and today, we are in serious danger of losing it altogether. The challenge from Beyers Naude still stands, and it comes to a new generation: “It is time to transform words into deeds. The time for talk is over.”


As we wrap and wind the year down, Kagiso Trust is excited to announce the launch of its Annual Report. As part of commemorating Kagiso Trust’s (KT) 25 years in creating sustainable development models towards the transformation of societies, KT will host a celebration event to present its investment plan in education and enterprise development as well as launch its Annual Report.

WINNING ESSAY: Conscience and Courage in the Struggle for Justice


By: Dineo Natasha Babili

ourage, Conscience and Justice. How do we define these three qualities without altering them to blend in with our lifestyles? How do our current leaders portray these qualities? What is it that’s so different about the way our past leaders implemented these qualities as compared to our present leaders? How do we know that our leaders have the capabilities of building a great nation, a nation with less corruption and more progression? The foundation of justice seemed to have set off on the right foot, but what went wrong? Is it that so much has evolved and issues have become broader or perhaps every generation and individual should be called upon to speak issues of their own time? What is conscience? According to the Macmillan school dictionary, it is said to be the ideas and feelings that you have that tell you whether you’re doing something wrong or right. Conscience is simply an internal monitor, a guiding voice from within, the faculty or principle by which we distinguish right from wrong; it is a moral faculty, a soundless inner voice of oneself which says “yes” or “no” when involved in a moral struggle. We can therefore conclude that conscience is the best minister of justice. What about courage and justice? Courage is to act in accordance with one’s belief in spite of all criticism.

Boldness, audacity, endurance, determination, dauntlessness, guts, spirit and firmness are what we associate courage with. Justice is the lawfulness, the fairness, fair play, treatment, legitimacy, and ability to reason. South Africa’s finally free; “new hope for a rainbow nation.” These were just some of the comments made by our international community after our beautiful country, became a free democratic nation. Our country became a land of hope, freedom and optimism on the 27th of April 1994. Now more than 16 years later, I wonder how far we’ve come in fulfilling our hopes and dreams in this country. Have our hopes and dreams of becoming a better nation become a nightmare since the passing of the flag from the previous apartheid government to our new democratically elected one? It seems as though the ideals and beliefs that many freedom fighters of the past, such as Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Beyers Naude and Steve Biko so bravely fought for, are non-existent in our new ‘free’ South Africa. The government of South Africa, led by the ANC, has made the word politician synonymous with greed, power and selfishness; the same government that we voted for have left us in no better situation than we were in during apartheid.

Even our constitution, which represents everything that our freedom fighters fought for, is constantly changed and manipulated to suit the ‘rights’ of our ruling party. The non-racial South African community that we have heard about so often is a seemingly far-fetched dream for the people of our country. Our country has gone from white preference to affirmative action, from forced evictions to xenophobic evictions, from racial segregation to economical segregation, from education crisis to an electricity crisis and from law restricted areas to crime-restricted areas. The bitterness left behind by the apartheid system between blacks and whites is clearly evident in our society, the constant racism in our sports system and racial killings are but a few instances. Now, what about society? What is it that society really needs? Harmony, cooperation, togetherness, working as one, each one doing the thing he can do best for others, for the community, doing your own thing and communalism at once. Sounds like a very progressive nation of justice, better than the old legalistic one. Not wealth, not power, not privilege, not even sheer intelligence, but understanding, insight, sympathy. Into what, we ask? Human nature, human needs, human values? And this understanding of theirs has to have a practical side to it. 07

University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus First Year Student Conscience and Courage in the Struggle for Justice Sphesihle Mavundla ‘Born in rags with nothing to brag about’ The song of our unsung heroes The hand that doth feed us is the hand we bite Shame on us for we know not to whom we owe our freedom Those that stood forth for the nation, Have we forgotten where we come from? You think somebody owes you for every wrong turn your life’s taken? Well somebody owes me for a history not taught right You thought wrong, there’s a greater power at hand There stands a man thanked not and unrecognized, A man whose mouth once spit the words ‘Before my skin colour I am human first’ Our ignorance is painful Pity it does not get better with time like the English man’s wine Somebody almost walked away with my identity Nearly walked around a face without a belonging The war was not for me to fight It’s already been fought for me Blood covered these streets before my feet could learn to touch the ground It was never about ‘Black or White’ It was about wrong and right, Re-painting the future from a different angle Then should I not speak today given the voice of courage? I put aside my pride, for my freedom was fought for Reason I stand today and say: It is not I who has been robbed But an unsung hero who stood with courage, And a conscience as clear as crystal combating for my justice So my rights could not be tampered with By a man who sees himself greater than fish eagles


A man who gave me no self-worth Made me think I belong in the jungle because I am a little darker than he The world would have been a better place then If it was upside down, Like diamonds in the rough— uncovered, Is how my heroes lay in the ground today Then you wonder why my tears tell a sad story of my past Like a slow death at dawn is how it pains me:

……….Somebody………. Somebody almost walked away with my identity Somebody gave me freedom From worry, guilt and fear I no longer walk and constantly look back over my shoulder Lend me a candle And I shall light up a brother’s way too, a sister even We are driven mad by daylight like Lazarus Somebody almost walked away with my identity We are still strangers to this world The blame is not on all of us though Then again… it is a history not taught right Our war today is but without a sword We are fighting against our own kind Those that forgot to give praise to the conquerors that deserve it most Those whose statues we have not erected as yet Our lack of knowledge sure is dangerous Chained like slaves in our own minds Too sluggish to get up and pay tribute to our grandfathers of democracy Well somebody almost walked away with my identity Our illiteracy wounds us

(Poem Winner)

Where we come from, How then should we know where we are headed? A sword covered with velvet blood is at rest It went through the chest of injustice To give me a better tomorrow This picture needs no refining But our minds do They are no different from gigantic sores oozing with pus of not knowing A cloud of smoke chokes life out of us Can somebody sit me down and tell me a story? Tell me a story of how we all ended up here Somebody almost walked away with my identity I have not thanked my forefathers Those I respect too much to call by their first name Resting they are now in another world Blessed is the soil that covers those fearless hands Protected my honour and pride is what they did So ‘tis then time I let my tears dry The struggle for mankind is no more I finally put a face on this portrait For my heroes stood firm Brave as lions in the struggle for my justice, our justice I shall wear my freedom like a ribbon on a Sunday skirt For we know not who we stand for,

Hybrid Financing - Funding Business Opportunities in a Recession The global economic downturn has resulted in huge job losses as many businesses scale down or close shop and this scourge does not seem to be abating soon. Government and all participants are searching for answers on how to protect current jobs, sustain and create new employment. The situation is forcing many people to start businesses as a way of surviving (forced entrepreneurship) and this has had a fundamental impact on the role of funding institutions and a need for a policy change on funding processes. This article looks at the role of hybrid funding and the need to invest in people.

Mohlolo Selala KERPEF Senior Programme Manager

Private Equity Firms


istorically Private Equity firms have been the major source of business financing. As the makeup of entrepreneurs is changing and more and more young inexperienced people venture into business, it is also becoming difficult to secure venture capital to fund small businesses due to depressed and deteriorating fundraising environments. The challenge faced by private equity firms is securing investment funds. Investors are becoming more cautious investing in equity firms due to non-performance by their non-private equity investments. Research into entrepreneurship trends shows that up to 80% of small businesses fail in their first 10 years. This and other fundamentals have made screening applicants more stringent, thus making it difficult for entrepreneurs to access funding in this milieu. Faced with this gloomy reality, private equity funds are now forced to redefine their role. Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) In an attempt to bridge the funding gap and to respond to the crises of unemployment and other social ills, DFIs, especially those backed by the government, are beginning to take an active role in small business funding. However, the challenge is the sustainability of the funded businesses as the success of such funds is hugely defined by the number of jobs created.


Kagiso Enterprises Private Equity Fund (KERPEF) is being positioned as a hybrid fund.


Wealth Creation versus have Job noted a growing This allows theinfunder tendency Southto take a long term view Creation to itidentify African discourse (be in the gaps mediaand or to in create a support cluster Given the DFIs’ predilection forpersonal investingdiscussions) in for the Given that it takes long for of entrepreneur. people increasjob creating businesses, it has proven difficult one toofacquire skills and accumulate experience, ingly relying on feelings right and wrong for such businesses to self-sustaining. small business and be refusing to let facts get in the way of anyowners argu- are allowed time to Businesses funded solemnly job creation doto make. develop competencies mentfor or point they wish To me an analyticalto become entrepreneurial not exist beyond a certain as they managers. Having acquired necessary skills, mindtime is aframe mind that holds a view or opinion bearing are more survivalist in nature, adding entrepreneur enabled to see the business in mindand the thus factual context ofthe each element thatis conto the statistics of small business through start-up phaseof or to manage it through tributes to onesfailures. views. An analytical mind is one Although job creation the initiatives allow space As one venture capital legend once most powerful products ofgrowth. a good education. and an opportunity for those employed to gain stated, “If you can find good people, if they’re experience, it is wealth wrongand about the product, The creating comment initiatives posed is complex difficult to re- they’ll make a switch. which ensures growth. It spond is businesses areit by So whattogood is it to understand the product that to, so I which simplify saying myself, I pay created by entrepreneursanwith creating they’re about in the first place?” arm wealth and a leg for my 2 year old talking son’s education focus which ensures sustainability forI both and what do hopethe will become of him? I hope I entrepreneur and employees. Traditional fundersfacts will normally give up on a am paying for the accumulation of important business just aat triangle the moment when the business like identifying the difference between Hybrid Funding and a square. I hope I am paying is about to excitement show operational efficiencies and for the Both traditional funding models (DFIs morepeople often business failure is heavily punished; of discovering new and things and and realisPrivate Equity firms) have place isinbigger small thanentrepreneurs once failed are not normally ing their the world mom and dad.who I hope business financing but toI am cut through thesupport chaos for given a second Ichance, paying for the principles wish tothus losing lessons learnt. of low skills and high unemployment, a policy of respect, Hybrid ambition, capital is conscipatient capital and seeks to be instil in him, principles change is needed. Onentiousness, the contrary, hybrid fearlessness defined and as aeventually solutions business. By improving discipline, financing uses levers of expertise. for-profit and levers of businesses operations and having specific not-for-profit businesses in their funding models; performance metrics to measure the progress, this model seeks to invest in ‘the The I helpit does not only address I hope the people’. school and him gain a sense of skills problem but the business opportunity must add value fundraising context, wherei.e. in more the world fund’s does he live, whatabilities are are enhanced. Having than just being a brilliant idea,of itthe must seek to an operationally some reasons his world is as it is andsound whatbusiness which addresses address specific societalare needs whileonsecuring the needs of issociety optimizes economic returns. his views such complexities. What the state economic returns. Although the life of a fund is lengthened, of the world, yes there is a context in which he lives embracing a at hybrid but that context is shaped also by the world large.financing model which Critical to the hybrid funder is what ‘the people’ concentrates on ‘the people’ will minimize the know and if they - the people, ‘know what they fund portfolio risk and have greater sustainable do not know’. returns to all stakeholders. It is an ideal investment fund for philanthropists who seek impact investment and also for profit seeking Ken Favaro and J. Neely, “The Next winning move in private equity” Business-Strategy, issue 63, 2011 Michael Porter and Mark, R, Kramer, Creating shared value, Harvard Business Review, 2011, page 63 William A. Sahlman, 2008. How to write a great business plan, Harvard Business Press 09

BNSDP School Infrastructure Launch in KwaZulu Natal



n the 6th September 2011, Kagiso Trust officially launched infrastructure at three of the BNSDP schools in KwaZulu Natal. Whilst other schools in the area battle with poor Matric results, Sebenzakusakhanya High School, Phumulani High School (in Nquthu) and Ubongumenzi High Schools in the Glencoe region have flourished over the last few years with the support of Kagiso Trust and certainly have something to celebrate. It hasn’t always been an easy road. For years, some of the schools battled with relational issues among educators, learner interest in their studies and structurally, some of the schools were falling apart. However, thanks to a four year programme initiated by Kagiso Trust, today the schools tell a very different story. Kagiso Trust together with the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education proudly launched infrastructure, including a much needed library, computer centre and science laboratory at each school.

“Only when there is a substantial improvement in Grade 12 results, as seen in these three schools in KwaZulu Natal, does the school qualify for infrastructural development,” explains Schoeman. “This approach not only serves as motivation for learners and educators, but also ensures that a school is ready to make the most out of the new facilities.” With help from the BNSDP, Phumulani, Ubongumenzi and Sebenzakusakhanya High Schools have improved their results on average by 13% percent in 2010, a shining light for both the province and the programme. Furthermore, eight of the ten schools in the district participating in our programme achieved results higher than the national average.

Kgosto Schoeman, CEO of Kagiso Trust explains, “Although the programme is about rewarding schools with infrastructure, more than that, it’s about a holistic approach to education that tackles all the facets of schooling and education, starting with the teachers.” With continued guidance and engagement from the Kagiso Trust, the schools have been transformed. Delighted learners at the schools entertained the guests at the launches while KwaZulu Natal MEC for Education, Mr. ES. Mchunu, addressed the audience. He said, “I would like to applaud the contribution made by the partnership between Kagiso Trust and the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education as the infrastructure launched will allow learners from Ubongumenzi, Phumulani and Sebenzakusakhanya to receive quality and superior education.” The infrastructure rewards are a result of Kagiso Trust, together with the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Department of Education working with a cluster of ten schools in the Nquthu, Glencoe and Msinga regions for the past two years. The programme engages with every aspect of a targeted school, from gaining support from the local Department of Education to engaging with governance of the school. A comprehensive analysis of each school is conducted at the outset, including an assessment of the standards of Mathematics, Science and English. A professional team is then deployed by the Kagiso Trust to assist educators with the curriculum and to provide on-site support. 11

THE ROLE OF EDUCATION The Assignment: We would like to hear your views, comment and opinions on the topic of Sustainable Development and Transformation of Education. It is our opinion that we can no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome of education, but as a foundation for the transformation of our society. The role of education for sustainable development is therefore to help people develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others, now and for the future. 

By: Theresa Griffiths Whose Responsibility is it Anyway?


collected my 15 year old son from school the other day. “How was school?” I asked. “Fine”, he said. “What’s for homework?” I enquired. “Nothing!” – his standard response. I wondered to myself whether this was the case or if he was once again neglecting the work that needed to be completed after school.

In fact, when you consider all the aspects, challenges and pitfalls that surround our education system it almost becomes too hard to even know where to begin with looking for solutions. The learners that leave school often are not equipped to deal with the transition to tertiary institutions if they are lucky enough to have the opportunity.

I didn’t have to wait long until the next parent teacher meeting to be informed that “Jason never completes his homework” or my other personal favourite “I often see Jason quickly scribbling down the homework just before the class starts. He really needs to be more organized. Do you not supervise him?” Immediately on the defensive because I know I have been spending more time at work than I should have, I retaliate with the comment that with the amount I pay in school fees that he should at least be receiving a “decent education.”

Different teaching styles/methodologies are implemented and some work but others clearly don’t. It is exceptionally easy to apportion blame for poor results or even failure but far more difficult to acknowledge your own responsibility for your part in the education process. I can quite easily blame the teacher for not being at school and providing a “fountain of knowledge” just waiting to be poured into my son’s open, enquiring mind. (Yeah right!).

On interrogating the unsatisfactory state of affairs with my son, it emerges that his teacher had been absent from school at least three days of the week and that when she was there, she was unapproachable and he is afraid to ask questions for fear of ridicule from the other students. This is an elaborate example of what happens in my family but it got me to thinking as to whose responsibility is education anyway? You know the old saying that says, “You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink?” I think my son has adapted this saying as his own personal mantra! Seriously though, the concept of a “decent education” by anyone’s standards, is a complex and involved issue. We talk about providing access for all children to quality education and bemoan the amount of resources that are flung into a seemingly endless pit without there being tangible results to merit the amount spent. 12

The teacher in turn, can blame an absentee parent for not providing conditions conducive to ensuring after school tasks are met adequately and on time. The learner too cannot absolve him/herself from responsibility and can find any number of excuses not to do the work and obviously misses out on learning opportunities. The only way education can ever achieve any modicum of success is through that much used word – MOTIVATION. Teachers who are motivated are able to impart knowledge even if this means doing so under a tree or in an overcrowded classroom. Learners who find reward in understanding new concepts and innovative ideas from an enthusiastic teacher make an extra effort when expected to additional work and research. Even parents who find their children excited about school related projects and activities feel justified in supporting the school and will generally encourage the additional effort.

This could only happen in an ideal world. Or could it? There are so many external factors that affect learning. These included child-headed households where the learners have serious issues such as ensuring that there is food on the table for younger siblings; teenage pregnancy; drugs/alcohol abuse; peer pressure; discipline issues etc. to name but a few obstacles. However, if the learner is able to take control of their circumstances and overcome the barriers to effective learning, the sky is the limit. Watching my son gain understanding of a mathematical concept is almost magical to watch. The sense of achievement he experiences makes him want to try harder and do more. (If only I could bottle this and bring it out when required). It is therefore my opinion that learners have a huge responsibility to take control of the learning process and understand that there are consequences when the required input is not achieved. In fact this is probably one of the bigger life lessons that we can all learn. To create meaningful transformation in the education system, accountability is crucial. “Spoon feeding” information does not create enthusiasm in enquiring minds, but instead research, debate and lively interaction are so much more impactful in terms of promoting idea generation and creativity. It forces learners to take responsibility for the task at hand and to ask questions that may challenge convention, vital skills in today’s society. However, taking responsibility for the education process is a non-negotiable requirement for learners. Establishing “easy ways out” and finding others to blame for nonperformance, perpetuates a culture of failure. We all have a part to play and if we all did, exactly what we were supposed to do, as a parent, teacher, learner… there would be no problem! In an ideal world of course!

THE ROLE OF EDUCATION B y Sibongiseni Lefalatsa

In any discussion that aims to provide a paradigm shift in the way things are traditionally seen or handled, there’s always the risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. That is to say, while acknowledging that education cannot be just about the accumulation of facts we must also remember that the accumulation of facts or the pursuit of facts is important and cannot be sacrificed at the altar of transformation.


have noted a growing tendency in South African discourse (be it in the media or in personal discussions) of people increasingly relying on feelings of right and wrong and refusing to let facts get in the way of any argument or point they wish to make. To me an analytical mind is a mind that holds a view or opinion bearing in mind the factual context of each element that contributes to ones views. An analytical mind is one of the most powerful products of a good education. The comment posed is complex and difficult to respond to, so I simplify it by saying to myself, I pay an arm and a leg for my 2 year old son’s education and what do I hope will become of him? I hope I am paying for the accumulation of important facts like identifying the difference between a triangle and a square. I hope I am paying for the excitement of discovering new things and people and realising the world is bigger than mom and dad. I hope I am paying for support for the principles I wish to instil in him, principles of respect, ambition, conscientiousness, discipline, fearlessness and eventually expertise. I hope the school and I help him gain a sense of context, where in the world does he live, what are some of the reasons his world is as it is and what are his views on such complexities. What is the state of the world, yes there is a context in which he lives but that context is shaped also by the world at large.

I hope he will be curious, curious about himself, those around him and those nowhere near him. Curious about the past, the present and what the future holds and what his role could be depending on his decisions today. Curious about beauty, the state of beauty, the concept of beauty, whether it be painted, drawn, performed or written. I hope he can fend for himself, that he will have some skill, some ability that other people are willing to pay for. I hope he has the character to work hard and take any opportunity he gets and has the empathy to feel compelled to help his brother, his neighbour, people he doesn’t know. I am not sure that there is any education system that can impart what I hope for my son, only living, breathing, dreaming teachers can, no matter what the subject matter. Even the facts can only be taught correctly by living breathing, dreaming teachers. So whatever the goals of our education system should they not start with the training and encouragement of teachers trained in facts; teachers who themselves want to create children the way we parents would like our children to be and teachers encouraged that hard work, discipline and empathy has its rewards. 

singular cause for ill-discipline and the failing education system. I don’t know. What I know is that an ill-disciplined teacher can never discipline; a teacher lacking in imagination and self-confidence will be exposed by his pupils and will retaliate harshly. A teacher who fears that he is technically ill-equipped to teach my child will expose this fear one way or the other to my child’s detriment and more importantly, the teacher who is in fact technically ill-equipped will cause great damage.

A teacher who feels he is not valued, whether in the salary he receives or the respect given him by society and his pupil’s parents may lose sight of the value of his vocation. The point I am making is this, no system can be imparted in an unhealthy environment by unhealthy people. I wish our generation of teachers can speak of teaching with the same pride our grandparents did and I believe as parents we should be interested in teachers’ development, support, respect and appreciation, they are after all teaching our children. We as parents need to know that ultimately the Are the teachers disciplined, before they venture to teachers’ goals are to produce the child I have discipline my son? Are the teachers curious to inspire described above.    such curiosity? There have been a number of articles of late in South Africa and even in the United States of America opining that teachers’ unions are the







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Kagiso Trust In-Brief Newsletter  

Kagiso [meaning Peace] Trust was established in May 1985 as a mechanism to channel funds, which would promote the struggle against apartheid...

Kagiso Trust In-Brief Newsletter  

Kagiso [meaning Peace] Trust was established in May 1985 as a mechanism to channel funds, which would promote the struggle against apartheid...