Pearls of Wisdom from Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa – Deputy President and Advisory Board Member, Kagiso Shanduka Trust
Why is it vital for government to collaborate with private sector to enable the country to reach Vision 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan?
By adopting a new democratic Constitution nearly 20 years ago, South Africans from all walks of life entered into a social compact to build a new nation, heal divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. Everything we seek to do as individuals, communities or organisations – whether in public or private sectors – is framed by this national project.
The National Development Plan (NDP) — a framework to guide society in pursuing the shared vision described in our Constitution — aims to eradicate poverty and reduce unemployment and inequality by 2030.
This is an ambitious goal, which can only be achieved if the resources and capabilities of all South Africans are effectively utilised. Collaboration between government and business is central to this effort.
Which factors determine the success of private public partnerships?
Partnership between government and business requires agreement on common objectives. While they may not agree on everything, they both have an interest in a united, prosperous and more equal society. This includes the development of skills, job creation and a steady improvement in the standard of living of the poor.
Partnership also requires agreement on how to achieve these objectives. In a country divided by race, gender, economic access and ideology, reaching consensus can be difficult. This requires ongoing dialogue between government, business and all social partners. As well as trust, understanding and respect.
What lessons have you learnt with regard to partnerships, in your time as a businessman as well as in your current role in government?
The most effective partnerships are where partners not only enrich each other but also find ways where they can mutually benefit. Partnerships require clear rules of engagement and defined mechanisms for consultation, accountability and dispute resolution. There needs to be agreement on how resources will be used and accounted for. Each partner should understand their rights and duties.
Give us an example of innovative partnerships that have worked?
In the early 1990s, as escalating political violence threatened to derail the negotiations process, a rare partnership evolved between political formations and sections of the then white business sector.
Not only did the violence exact a devastating human toll; it also undermined the prospects for stability and progress. It was this convergence of interests that led to business‘ involvement in the development and implementation of the Peace Accord. This initiative did much to reduce political violence and create the conditions for our first democratic elections in 1994.
What is your vision for South Africa for the next 30 years?
South Africa has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Democracy has prevailed and our people have rights, freedoms and opportunities. Millions have been lifted out of poverty. Many people have houses, water, electricity and decent social services.
However, there is still much to be done. Our country is still faced with poverty, unemployment and inequality. Many areas are severely underdeveloped. Many youth lack skills, experience and opportunities.
Over the next 30 years, working together, we will dramatically improve the lives of all our people. Together with other social partners, government and business will invest more in infrastructure and productive capacity than ever before in our history. They will collaborate in building new industries, developing innovative products and opening up new export markets.
Together, they will improve government services, expand access to affordable financial services and create a new generation of entrepreneurs. They will build communities that are sustainable and nurturing.
What message do you have for Kagiso Trust as it celebrates 30 years?
For 30 years, Kagiso Trust has been at the forefront of transformation in our society. Its focus on education reflects a determination that potential should not be constrained by the circumstances of one‘s birth.
All sectors of our society have seen the emergence of talented individuals who have in one way or another been enriched by Kagiso Trust‘s programmes. We should work together to ensure that Kagiso Trust remains an influential, inspirational, innovative and valuable agent for meaningful change.
For Kagiso Trust, for South Africa, the work has only just begun.
Kagiso Shanduka Trust aims to collaborate with public and private institutions to make education an empowering experience that equips learners with the skills and knowledge to thrive and contribute to the development of our society.
Kagiso Shanduka Trust is collaboration between Kagiso Trust and Shanduka Foundation to develop and implement a district-wide holistic school development model.
In March 2013, Kagiso Shanduka Trust embarked on a programme with the Free State Department of Education to support educational transformation in 428 schools in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo districts.
Shanduka Foundation and Kagiso Trust have each committed R100 million over five years. The Free State Department of Education has matched this investment, bringing the total investment to R400 million.
The programme leverages the methodologies and best practices of each organisation and has resulted in an integrated school development model that aims to improve the academic performance and social wellbeing of the learners.
The partnership also seeks to upgrade school infrastructure; develop effective school leadership; and involve parents and community members in the school‘s development.
Kagiso Shanduka Trust envisions that the lessons from this programme will form the basis of a model that supports educational delivery in other districts in the country.
Since the start of the programme and following extensive needs analyses, school retreats have been held with 215 schools. These are empowerment and transformation workshops where the school identifies the challenges affecting school performance and develops a strategic plan to ensure long-term success and sustainability.