2019 marked the 15th anniversary year of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation.

It offered cause to celebrate a solid and sincere track record of programme implementation to better the lives of our beneficiaries.


Some of the work of the Foundation predates its formal establishment. Cyril Ramaphosa’s ad-hoc support to students to attend university from speaking fees he earned, from about 1996, led to the formal establishment of the Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET) in 2004. The donation of a fax machine to his former school in Soweto, Tshilidzi Primary, in the late 1990s, led to the establishment of Adopt-a-School in 2002.


Today the Foundation implements programmes to support and improve education, grow sustainable small and medium enterprises, promote youth development, and support vulnerable children and women in the schools in which it works. As this report notes, by the end of February 2020, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation had contributed over R402 million and leveraged R1.3 billion through its partner entities to effect real change in education and enterprise development. Since inception of its programmes, it has worked in close to 500 schools, benefitting more than a million learners; reached over 700 vulnerable children with psychosocial support through its Thari programme; supported more than 250 students to access tertiary study; and incubated some 1 775 small businesses, which have created close to 12 000 jobs and turned over R3.079 billion.

Notable in 2019 was the innovation built on the ongoing work of the Foundation. Adopt-a-School piloted “green” building models and energy-saving insulation and lights in its infrastructure development of schools. CRET introduced driver training for final year students to facilitate their employment prospects. And the Foundation, as part of its 15th anniversary commemorations, contributed to the national discussion on inequality, inclusion and cohesion though a public art exhibition.


Other highlights in this report are the impressive leadership accolades attained by CRET-supported students. This affirms the CRET model to support students who show potential as well as its youth development and wrap-around support. To be noted too

is CRET’s promotion of alternative skills development routes.


Black Umbrellas celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019, opened the doors to its 9th and first township-based incubator, and was named the recipient of the 2019 International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) awards in the USA. The prestigious InBIA award, awarded now for the second time to Black Umbrellas, ranks Black Umbrellas among the foremost incubation programmes in the world.




The Foundation bid farewell to Black Umbrellas’ CEO, Seapei Mafoyane, after seven years at the helm. Deep appreciation is expressed to Yvonne Themba, a former chairperson of the Black Umbrellas board, who served as interim CEO before the appointment of Mark Frankel in November 2019.


The impact of the Foundation’s work on individuals is plain to see. However, as the Impact Report commissioned as part of the Foundation’s 15th anniversary notes, systemic impact is more difficult to evaluate. Going forward, a clear framework with progress markers needs to be developed for measurement of this.


KST, a programme of the Foundation implemented in partnership with Kagiso Trust in the Free State, explicitly aims to effect systemic change in the school education system at a district level. An external mid-term evaluation of the District Whole School Development programme found that the model provides an effective blueprint for relevant development in South African schools. It is the intent of the Foundation to share its development models for replication and greater scale.


2019 also saw the 1st biennial Thari conference in Bloemfontein. The conference was very well attended by fellow practitioners working in the field of child abuse and neglect, including educational sector, NGO and Government representatives. It served to consolidate the programme experience and established a firm collaborative platform going forward. Thari is a good example of the models of the Foundation being impelled toward being ever more holistic, addressing multiple factors that impact on specific development objectives.

The Foundation has helped transform many disadvantaged lives through the continued support and commitment of its stakeholders and partners. For this, sincere gratitude and tribute is due, not least to the corporate sector and Government.


The Foundation hopes to collaborate more with its partners and stakeholders especially in the context of the socio-economic resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.


I extend my gratitude to the stakeholders, partners, friends and associates of the Foundation, the Trustees of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, the boards of its partner entities, the executive team and all members of staff for a most fulfilling and well-accomplished year and, for 15 years of sustained developmental impact in the interests of our beneficiaries.


I look forward to many more years of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation building on its legacy towards an inclusive and empowered society.


Mmabatho Maboya