Since its inception in 2004 and to date, the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation has committed R402 million and raised R1.2 billion for education and small business development through its partner entities. Over a million learners, students and emerging entrepreneurs have benefitted through the programmes of the Foundation.

To evaluate the efficacy of its programmes, the Foundation commissioned The Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute in 2019, the Foundation’s 15th anniversary year, to conduct an in-depth external review. The year-long project included intensive data analysis and interviews with community leaders and beneficiaries on how the Foundation has impacted individual lives and communities.

The Foundation’s partner entities, Adopt-a-School, KST, the Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust and Black Umbrellas, implement holistic programmes related to school development, tertiary education access and the incubation of 100% Black-owned small businesses.

“Our programmes traverse an arc of life, from primary education through to entrepreneurship,” the CEO of the Foundation, Mmabatho Maboya, said. “This is an encompassing and coherent development approach that uniquely positions the Foundation in the developmental landscape,” she said. Maboya added that education and small business development “are the most direct means” of improving the quality of life for South Africa’s people and developing an inclusive society.

Adopt-a School works to improve infrastructure, governance and teaching in disadvantaged schools. As at the 2019 external review, 228 schools have been adopted, with 637 531 learners benefitting. Six new schools have been built, 97 schools renovated, and 258 classrooms, 44 ablution facilities, 30 computer laboratories, 27 administration facilities and 21 science laboratories built. The build programme has benefitted 1 378 local businesses and created 7 441 temporary jobs.
Adopt-a-School also implements the Thari pilot project in Botasabelo in the Free State and Diepkloof in Gauteng. Thari aims to strengthen school communities by creating safe and empowering environments free from violence. It enhances academic effectiveness, inclusivity and gender sensitivity, and promotes health and well-being for all. Thari, since its inception in 2017, has helped 579 children and 371 family members with psychosocial support services and reached 1 850 children through its Safe Park activities.

KST is a collaboration between Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation and Kagiso Trust. It leverages the best practices of each organisation’s Whole School Development programmes on a district-wide basis in the Free State. In partnership with the Free State Department of Education and the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation, KST has benefitted 401 578 learners through the development of 22 979 educators in curriculum and leadership management training. KST has built 334 new facilities and renovated 289 school structures. Its build programme has supported 279 SMMEs and created 1 771 temporary jobs. KST also implements an eye-screening programme through which 146 122 eyesight tests have been conducted and 5 662 learners received spectacles. A further 110 schools are supported by KST in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Northern Cape through a partnership with Anglo-American South Africa and JET Education Services. This has benefitted a further 68 791 learners, with 2 421 educators having received “empowerment and transformation” workshops.

The Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET) is a higher education bursary scheme that offers holistic wrap-around support and youth development. CRET has supported 247 students since its inception in 1999. Beyond funding tertiary education, CRET also ensures students have safe accommodation or meals where necessary and gives students access to emotional support and opportunities for in-situ learning through visits to some of SA’s most successful enterprises.

Black Umbrellas is a driving force in the Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) incubator field in South Africa, with partnerships with the private sector, Government and civil society. Black Umbrellas has incubated 1 553 small businesses that have achieved R2.9 billion in collective turnover, contributed R260 million to tax revenue, and created and preserved almost 11 874 jobs.

The external review affirmed that the Foundation’s impact has been overwhelmingly positive and has succeeded through the creation and preservation of exceptional partnerships.

Seeing that Corporate Social Investment expenditure in 2019 was estimated at R10.2 billion, with 54% of that going to NPOs, additional partnerships would lead to doing more to help those who need it the most. It’s through these enduring partnerships that Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation can continue its mission to support education and small business development and scale up to turn the tide towards a more inclusive society.