01 May 2022

Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation

Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation is committed to fostering an inclusive and empowered society through improving education and growing small Black businesses. The Foundation believes that progress in education and enterprise development are the most direct means to fostering an inclusive and empowered society, which is its purpose. This is in line with the National Development Plan, which notes education, skills and work opportunities as key capabilities for decent lives.

The Foundation’s programmes to improve education and support small Black businesses are implemented thorough its partner entities: Adopt-a-School Foundation, KST, Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust and Black Umbrellas. The programmes of these entities are underpinned by partnership and collaboration, most notably with the business community, to deliver cost-effective and quality programmes that respond to the needs of beneficiaries and stakeholders and that impact South Africa’s development challenges.

In the roll out of some of its programmes, the Foundation strives to alleviate local unemployment by creating job opportunities The recent commemoration of national Workers’ Day on 1 May serves for this to be highlighted.

Two of the Foundation’s partner entities, Adopt-a-School and KST, implement a Whole School Development Model to improve the governance, academic, infrastructural and social environment of schools. Over the years, the infrastructure-build aspect of this model has created a significant number of temporary jobs in local communities. Adopt-a-School has created 8 320 temporary jobs and assisted 1 653 small businesses since 2002. KST has supported 543 small businesses and created 5 867 temporary jobs since 2013.

Busisiwe Buthelezi, a mother of two, was one of the beneficiaries of these opportunities. She schooled at Together with 57 other women, she was employed by Adopt-a-School to work on the construction of the school she once herself attended, Ingweni Phaphama Primary School in Lenjani village, east of Vryheid.  Her children now attend the school she helped extend.

Busisiwe says that she was proud of the many women who were temporarily employed on the project. “The day we started building I couldn’t really believe it,” she says. “We saw the different buildings; how big it is compared to the mud school. I had experience of building from before, but I have learnt so much more from this project and gained many new skills,” she said.

As schools are improved through the Whole School Development model, work experience and skills development are also emphasised. This adds to the sense of ownership communities feel about the projects.

Another of the Foundation’s partner entities, Black Umbrellas, directly facilitates the creation of jobs through its development of small Black businesses. Black Umbrellas is an enterprise and supplier development (ESD) incubation organisation. Since 2009, it has helped create and preserve 12 106 jobs through the businesses it has supported. These businesses have to date paid R937 million in salaries and contributed R276 million in tax.

GMSQ one such Black Umbrellas beneficiary, has 111 permanent employees, 68 temporary employees and 16 student interns. The company provides cleaning, hardware and hygiene products and services to corporates and the public. Sarina Malatji, a founder of the enterprise, said the business has an impact in the unskilled and semi-skilled labour market because of its ability to absorb more people of these groups.

“More families are impacted by this, and we love to make a difference in the lives of ordinary people,” she said.

Black Umbrellas has made a valuable contribution to the growth of GMSQ by providing its founders with the necessary tools and guidance to run a business effectively and efficiently.