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The legacy of Kagiso Trust: Investing in South African communities

When Kagiso Trust began its development work in 1985, it was a vehicle to promote the struggle against apartheid. It was in this context that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Beyers Naudé, Reverend Frank Chikane, Reverend Allan Boesak, Dr Max Coleman, Eric Molobi and other political leaders were trying to persuade the European Union (the European community at the time) to impose complete sanctions on the South African apartheid government.

Persuading the EU was a difficult task. In 1985, the EU agreed to impose only partial sanctions on South Africa, the EU also decided through its Special Programme for the victims of apartheid to support projects that promoted non-racialism and capacity development among those disadvantaged by apartheid.

The EU indicated that it wanted to allocate development funds using three channels namely South African Council of Churches (SACC) and the South African Catholic Bishops conference and a third secular channel.

The third secular channel gave birth to Kagiso Trust (KT) on the 10th July 1986 the EU donated an initial sum of ECU 5 million (R10 million) which was used to fund 30 projects. Kagiso Trust and those associated with it had to withstand strong opposition from the apartheid government, Eric Molobi was detained under Regulation 3 of the Internal Security Act in 1987. Archbishop Tutu, Yunus Mohamed, Dr Abe Nkomo, Reverend Frank Chikane and Father Mkhatshwa continued to be detained and harassed for their involvement with Kagiso Trust. Dr Beyers Naudé despite the banning order being lifted, still received unwelcome attention from the security police due to his commitment and tireless work for the Trust.

Between 1986 and 1993 the EU was KT’s largest donor (R834 million) and between 1987 and 1997 KT managed to secure donor funds from the Japanese government (R107.8 million) to cover staff and administrative costs KT took a management fee of between 5% and 7% of donor funding. In 1994, the EU dissolved this Special Programme and the funding came via the European Reconstruction and Development Programme (ERPD).

With the dawn of South Africa’s democracy in 1994, it became clear that international funding from international agencies, previously funded the development work of the Trust, would redirected funding to the new democratic government when it was elected. After 1994, Kagiso Trust broadened its social vision through the establishment of Kagiso Trust Investments (KTI) and for the next decade focused on uplifting our communities through targeted education and enterprise development programmes.

Kagiso Trust Investments (KTI) later became Kagiso Tiso Holdings (KTH).

When we established Kagiso Trust Investments (today Kagiso Tiso Holdings/ KTH) 24 years ago, we had no illusion and knew very clearly that it was to ensure and secure the financial sustainability of the Trust in order to grow its development programmes.

KTI was established as an investment company under the stewardship of the late Eric Molobi, as a vehicle to generate sustainable, long-term financial support for the Trust. The company initially focused on purchasing minority equity stakes in unlisted companies that promised exceptional growth opportunities. During its establishment phase, KTI was capitalised with loan funding of R26 million from KT and JP Morgan and later with R50 million from each of Liberty Life and Nedcor Investment Bank. Remgro subsequently purchased the Liberty and Nedcor stakes, with Kagiso Trust remaining the controlling shareholder of KTI.

In his capacity as the Executive Chair of KTI, Eric Molobi recruited young black professionals, to work with him set up the entity and played a major role in building KTI to be what it is today. A remarkable story of skill and hard work of young black professionals, creating so much value for development work. Real patriotism at its best.

KTI evolved over the years, into a diversified investment company with financial, industrial and mining interests. The portfolio of businesses was restructured into three pillars namely financial services, resources and industrial. The core business areas of the financial pillar were investment banking services, life insurance and short-term insurance. The resources pillar included a joint venture in a platinum mine. The industrial pillar focused on media and ICT services, and the industrial sector.

Subsequently, KTI merged with Tiso holdings to form Kagiso Tiso Holdings, one of South Africa’s leading black-controlled and managed investment companies.

The sound financial base of the Trust, through its broader investment portfolio, continues to provide space for it to be far more innovative in developing sustainable partnerships with government and private sector partners in pursuit if of overcoming poverty in many South African communities. KT’s financial sustainability framework is intended on ensuring a continual balance between asset growth and programme spend, working towards achieving our vision of overcoming poverty.

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Kaya FM Interview: Local Government Support

Kaya FM interview with Kagiso Trust’s Paul Smith and SALGA CEO Xolile George, talking about local government support

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Introducing 10 Fold Education

Using technology to help learners excel

Kagiso Capital and the Mindset Network recently launched 10 Fold Education (10 Fold) with the aim of bridging the gap between the education system as it exists today and the future we are preparing learners for. 10 Fold is available to learners as an application (app) which can be downloaded on their smartphones and for those seeking extra assistance, lessons are offered at the colourful and engaging 10 Fold Learning Centre in Randburg.

As the Department of Basic Education and education sector as a whole embrace ICT, 10 Fold enables learners to build on what they learn at school and address obstacles as they encounter them, using a digital platform.

Targeted at high school learners, the app combines video tutoring and assessments that provide an effective learning platform for learners on their mobile devices. The extra lessons available at the Learning Centre in Randburg offers an immersive experience that teaches learners while they interact and collaborate with each other.


10 Fold Education Offering
The App The Learning Centre
Maths and Science Live shows and seminars
Grade 11 and 12 Facilitated extra lessons
App available of Andriod, iOS coming soon Coding and robotics


Affordability of the app, at less than R50/m subscription fee, ensures accessibility to more learners. It’s collaborative and blended learning approach introduces new learning techniques, environments and methods while ensuring learners have the knowledge they need to excel at school.


Education Legacy

10 Fold in a joint venture with the investment company, Kagiso Capital and the Mindset Network. Kagiso Capital is wholly owned by Kagiso Trust, one of South Africa’s oldest black-led development agencies whose 30 years’ experience in the education development space has led to successful implementation of replicable and sustainable models in rural South Africa. Mindset is an education NPO that has spent 20 years developing and broadcasting education programming throughout Africa. It was created to take advantage of the advancements in technology and extend the reach and effectiveness of education support in South Africa and the rest of the continent.


Read more: https://www.10fold.net/


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Launching Partnerships to Help Municipalities Perform Better

The South African landscape is one which is familiar with the repercussions of municipalities that do not perform well. The ones most often affected by failure to deliver services in municipalities are those who need it the most, the disadvantaged. To this end, the country has seen the likes of Kagiso Trust and other organisations lend their expertise and resources to assist municipalities to perform better.

Most recently, KwaZulu-Natal Treasury has launched a training partnership with Absa and the University of the Western Cape with hopes of bringing positive changes in the management of public finances to those municipalities that still strive for consistent clean audit reports.

The partnership promises to bring about better financial management through the 25 trainees from various municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal who have completed training. The training, undertaken by the lecturers from the University of Western Cape and supported by Absa Bank, was completed late last year.

The trainees are now armed with knowledge and awareness of the regulatory requirements and legislative framework governing public sector finance reforms and management in South Africa; an understanding and application of different reporting frameworks i.e. GRAP/GAMAP/IFRS; an understanding of how to apply and adhere to accounting records acceptable to accounting principles applicable to their environment; an understanding of audit working papers for annual external audit; an understanding and ability to prepare cash flow statements and budgets; an understanding and ability to calculate different financial ratios; knowledge to interpret and apply financial ratios and perform financial statement analysis; among other things.

Allan Roman of the University of Western Cape said the training programme is meant to capacitate finance staff of municipalities so that they can deliver services better. “The objective of the programme is to improve the municipal financial health so that we can improve the municipal service to the communities,” he said.

Dante Mashile, Absa Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations in KwaZulu-Natal, says: “As a bank we saw it as fitting to assist in the deepening of skills of accounting practitioners in understanding local government legislative framework governing local government finance; budgeting; reporting and management.

Through this training programme we are fulfilling our citizenship responsibility by assisting local municipalities to deliver better services and at the same advance socio-economic development for the communities they serve.

This training programme is part of our Shared Growth strategy implementation where access to education and training is a key area of focus for us. We are passionate about leaving things better than we found them.”

MEC Belinda Scott said the partnership marks an important milestone in addressing the insufficient capacity in financial management in municipalities. She said that if municipalities struggle to deliver services, then government does not work.

“We congratulate the 25 trainees that have finished this training and we certainly need more skilled financial officers to help our municipalities manage our municipal finance systems.

I often discuss with my colleague, MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, that when we have municipalities whose administration we take over, we need to ensure that the administrators share their financial management skills with the municipality so that when they are gone, skills will be left behind,” she said.

Scott said that municipalities do not lack funding but they lack is the ability to manage the financial resources they are allocated.

“This training will have a positive effect in managing the current challenges faced, and we would like more partnerships to help government create the necessary capacity in order to deliver services better to the communities,” she said.

Amended release issued by KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury

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Role of ECD in Realising the Schooling 2030 Vision

Our country continues to be one of the most unequal societies in the world, with poverty and lack of resources still at the forefront creating serious obstacles for many of the country’s most vulnerable citizens. Early Childhood Development (ECD) has been recognised as one of the most powerful tools in breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty and confirms the tremendous importance of the early years for human development, while highlighting the importance of support during children’s formative years.

We cannot talk about the education 2030 vision without the inclusion of ECD. It has been a grave mistake to exclude and ignore ECD when tackling challenges facing education in the country. This is why Abram Kgari, Executive Director of Oratile ECD Centre, has taken it upon himself to improve the quality of education within ECD centres in the Diepsloot community, currently overseeing 130 centres registered with his forum.

Together with his team, Abram ensures that centres have daily programs that benefit the holistic growth of the children, in 5 main domains, which are:

  • Physical, including fine and gross motor skills;
  • Social;
  • Emotional;
  • Cognitive;
  • and Spiritual Development.

Training of practitioners is key in ensuring quality of education within ECD centres. In addition to having a NQF4 Level qualification, Abram believes that there are 3 fundamentals every ECD practitioner should have in order to create a positive learning environment.

  1. Passion and love for children.

“An ECD practitioner should have an innate love for children. This impacts greatly on the quality of work the practitioner delivers.”

  1. Understanding the realities and needs of the community

“To succeed in whatever you do, you need to know and understand the people you serve. Do work according to the needs and realities in that part of society.”

  1. Perseverance and commitment to providing high quality ECD services to children.

“The journey is not easy, there are a lot of challenges involved. The secret is always putting the interests of the children first.”

According to research, children who don’t attend ECD centres are 25 percent more likely to drop out of high school. The most impact we can have on a children’s learning is at ages 3 to 5 and there’s no better way to get them off to a good start than the provision of quality early childhood development.

If you would like to assist Abram Kgari and the forum of ECDs he oversees in Diepsloot, you can reach him on kakgari@yahoo.com.

Abram Kgari was one of the panellists, alongside the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, at the previous Education Conversations which took place at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus on 25 July 2017. The topic of the discussion was: Our Vision for South Africa Education.


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Invitation to our Local Government Collab

How do we efficiently implement an indigent policy for social cohesion in a difficult social and economic climate, whilst sustaining financially viable municipalities?

Join key stakeholders and specialists in local government for a panel discussion and engaging workshop session. This is a great opportunity to network, learn and contribute to the local government sector.

Date: 26 October 2017
Time: 08h30 – 13h00

Entrance: Free

RSVP to Chulekazi Charlie – ccharlie@kagiso.co.za



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Financial Sustainability For Sustainable Development

It is not unusual to come across the mention of ‘poverty’ and ‘Africa’ in the same sentence. 

This association of Africa as the poverty-stricken continent is one which is being fiercely contested. Africa will become a prosperous continent, according to the African Union’s Agenda 2063, even if it takes decades. This transition requires, among other factors, a focus on sustainable development.

This focus on sustainable development is being championed locally through the National Development Plan (NDP) and abroad, notably through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable development ensures that as we meet our present needs, future generations will, too, have the ability to meet their own needs. At the heart of sustainable development is the need to provide people with quality of life, a life not plagued by poverty.

As one of South Africa’s leading development agencies, Kagiso Trust (KT, the Trust) appreciates the fact that our country’s sustainable development efforts will ultimately be impacted by the continent’s own. South Africa’s development resolves cannot escape the context of its geographic location. It is, therefore, through this understanding that Kagiso Trust’s development work is aligned with both the NDP and SDGs, and through its entity Kagiso Africa Investments (KAI), endeavours to share best practice and garner lessons from other African countries.

The Trust has resolved to overcome poverty in South Africa through the implementation of its tried and tested, replicable and sustainable development models. KT’s programmes are focused on its four strategic objectives: Education Development, Socio-economic Development, Institutional Capacity Building and Financial Sustainability. The latter focus area is one which we identified as obligatory to share with fellow not-for-profit organisations (NPOs). The logic is straightforward: without financial sustainability, there is no sustainability and growth for NPOs to execute their development work in communities.

While Kagiso Trust actively supports local NPOs through the Institutional Capacity Building’s civil society programme, the Trust set up KAI to play a similar role outside the country. KAI’s footprint is currently 4000km away with the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) a Nairobi-based development organisation that supports poor, marginalised and disadvantaged communities to initiate and drive their development agenda.

Having found a like-minded development organisation, in 2012 KAI set up KCDF Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd. The investment holding company was founded to generate dividends to ensure that with its 60% shareholding, KCDF becomes a self-funded development agency, independent of grant funding.

A lesson learnt by Kagiso Trust during the dawn of South Africa’s democracy when international donors redirected funding to the new government, an investment holding company (then Kagiso Trust Investments) provided the Trust with a steady flow of dividends year on year, enabling the Trust to continue operating in the development space for more than 20 years independently. We believe that this model can be successful with KCDF Investment Holdings in terms of generating income for development work and programmes rather than self-enrichment.

The sustainable development agenda has forced Africans to be innovative as we formulate ways to ensure a better life for all. KT has repurposed the traditional profit-driven investment company model to one that is financial sustainability-driven for sustainable development. As we look forward to expanding our reach to other African countries, we continue to drive our strategic objectives in South Africa and support the NDP. It is the culmination of our joint efforts, both in South Africa and the continent that will, ultimately, lead to us overcoming poverty and becoming the prosperous Africa envisaged by our continent’s leaders.


Article Source:  Leadership Online




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Overcoming Poverty: Mrs. Mankodi Moitse

Sunday Times-Business-Times Q & A: Mrs. Mankodi Moitse 

Since the dawn of democracy addressing issues around poverty, unemployment and inequality have been on South Africa’s agenda. These areas form government’s priority and to address these triple challenges government has adopted a National Development Plan (NDP) as a guiding framework to eradicate poverty, reduce levels of unemployment and address inequalities by 2030. The NDP targets on the triple challenges, are to eliminate income poverty by reducing household income below R419 per person to 0 by 2030, reduce inequality to 0.6 Gini coefficient, increase employment to 24 million by 2030.

Kagiso Trust under the Heart of Gold Campaign will be calling on all sectors of society to partner and collaborate in the formulating and implementing of community-centred development models to address poverty.

In this editorial, the CEO of Kagiso Trust (KT) Mankodi Moitse shares her insights.

  1. What are the key drivers that informed the Trust’s strategy refresh in order to continue its development work of overcoming poverty?

For the past 30 years, the Trust has had an impact on over a million beneficiaries and spent close to R2 billion on development programmes mostly in education development.  Consequently, Kagiso Trust went through a process of identifying which parts of its existing strategy needed to be deepened and strengthened in order to chart a long-term vision for greater impact over the next 30 years. The principal drivers for the strategy refresh was the need to adapt and learn from the past 30 years of the organisation’s existence as well as positioning Kagiso Trust’s development programmes as seeking to overcome poverty through scalable, innovative, replicable and sustainable models. The strategy refresh looked at how we can further scale and grow our programmes to address the triple challenges (poverty, inequality and unemployment) facing our country.

This gave us an opportunity to reflect and identify gaps within our development models for each of our strategic objectives in consultation with various stakeholders to ensure that we were on the right path with our programmes.  It is only through structured systemic interlinked interventions in education and socio-economic development that we can grow the economy, increase the productive base and empower marginalised and vulnerable groups in our society.


  1. Why is Early Childhood Development (ECD) critical in the education pipeline?

South Africa’s development and future highly depends on the extent to which it can unlock the potential human capital inherent within its youngest population. By making investments in ECD, we are more likely to observe long-term benefit in terms of keeping learners in school longer, addressing a challenge in terms of learner throughput in the education system (a measure introduced to evaluate learner retention). Studies done by the Department of Social Development and UNICEF South Africa suggest that participation in early learning and development programmes contributes to an increase of between 5 and 10 percent of lifetime labour income. Early childhood, especially the first 1000 days from conception to two years, is particularly sensitive

Early childhood, especially the first 1000 days from conception to two years, is particularly sensitive for development, however, ECD statistics show that 8 out of 10 children do not have access to quality ECD centres.  Therefore, the shortfalls of minimal ECD intervention means that it becomes more difficult to rectify and intervene in a learner’s long term academic development as they consistently have to play catch- up.

Our interventions need to start at the beginning of the education pipeline if we are to ensure that all the learning outcomes, class appropriate competencies and early childhood cognitive development is built early.  Our programme will also assist existing community ECD centres with comprehensive skills required to run effective and sustainable centres.


  1. Economic growth and transformation is geared towards fundamentally changing current structures within the economy, what programmes has the Trust put in place to support entrepreneurs in high impact sectors of the economy?

Economic growth and transformation should not be seen in isolation, the two are co-dependent.  The international economic outlook shows slight economic growth improvement and South Africa should be growing above 3%, but we hope the current 2.5% growth of the real gross development product in this current quarter will be sustained.

Inequality is still evident in the patterns of economic participation in the country as economic ownership remains imbalanced.

It is against this outlook that we will be working towards developing and supporting sustainable small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) by providing a holistic enterprise development programme, focusing on high impact sectors in agriculture, construction and real estate.  We aim to achieve this by providing access to markets, funding, mentorship and business support in collaboration with the private and public sector.  We also aim to launch an entrepreneurial fund in order to action this vision and call on like-minded partners to collaborate with the Trust.

We believe this programme will contribute towards getting SMMEs to organise themselves and become industry disruptors in order for them to grow into industrialists that will create much needed decent jobs and contribute towards the reduction of the current 27.7% unemployment rate.


  1. Local government is the sphere of government closest to communities and plays a critical role collecting and generating revenue to provide municipal services while providing e free basic services to indigent households. What solution is the Trust proposing to municipalities?

Our local government solution aims to provide municipalities with the ability to use different sets of data as a tool to improve the overall functionality of municipalities. We aim to provide assistance in building in-house capacity within municipalities through sustainable and cost-effective solutions. The solutions assist in improving municipality revenue streams, which in turn results in better service delivery and local economic development, as well as enable municipalities to play a bigger role in servicing indigent households who need them the most.


  1. Poverty is a key challenge for development in social and economic terms; not only in South Africa but throughout the developing world. Does the sole responsibility of the vision 2030 sit on government’s shoulders?

The recent statistics released by Stats SA paint a bleak picture of the current state and future of South Africa. It shows a regress in the achievement of the past ten years that saw a significant reduction in the levels of poverty and now we see over 50% of South Africans living in poverty and unemployment at 27.7%, the highest it’s ever been since 2003.

The NDP provided a framework to guide all sectors of society to work towards.  Government has to continue creating an enabling environment with the right policies, legislation and regulation.  Without the full participation and support from the private sector, labour and civil society the end- in -mind will be difficult to reach.  NGOs can play a more active role in development as they are at the interface of communities and operating in areas where government is unable to reach. What we need to ask ourselves is, what are the right scalable development models that are needed to ensure participation of communities to implement the NDP effectively? The NDP puts active citizenry at the centre of the cycle of development leading towards actualisation of their rights, responsibilities.

Through our Heart of Gold campaign, we would like to encourage you to engage with us and work towards overcoming poverty in our communities.





























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Dr. Somadoda Fikeni: Overcoming Poverty

Sunday Times-Business-Times Q & A: Dr. Somadoda Fikeni 

Since the dawn of democracy addressing issues around poverty, unemployment and inequality have been on South Africa’s agenda. These areas form government’s priority and to address these triple challenges government has adopted a National Development Plan (NDP) as a guiding framework to eradicate poverty, reduce levels of unemployment and address inequalities by 2030. The NDP targets on the triple challenges, are to eliminate income poverty by reducing household income below R419 per person to 0 by 2030, reduce inequality to 0.6 Gini coefficient, increase employment to 24 million by 2030.

Kagiso Trust under the Heart of Gold Campaign will be calling on all sectors of society to partner and collaborate in the formulating and implementing of community-centred development models to address poverty.

In this editorial, Political Analyst & Advisor to Unisa’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor and Director Special Projects Dr. Somadoda Fikeni shares his insights.

  1. What type of leadership qualities are needed to move the country forward in order to realise a prosperous, peaceful and just society?

 The scale and extent of challenges we currently face will need more than one messianic leader but a team of leaders drawn from different sectors of our society. The character of leaders is perhaps more important than any other attributes as values, norms and ethics of leaders has now proven to be the most important element. South Africa need honest, ethical servant leadership driven by deep convictions for social justice for all. The leaders should focus on balancing two seemingly contradictory and yet essential aspects of our society: unite the previously divided society while at the same time making sure that there is a genuine transformation that seeks to redress historical apartheid socio-economic geography to give rise to a just inclusive society. Leadership should be a shared competence in different sectors of our society.

  1. Is it fair to expect inequality, poverty and unemployment to be resolved in 23 years?

It is not always the case that social and economic change comes incrementally and gradually over a long time. If there is political will and deep conviction or commitment to profound change. Sometimes the risk of not effecting swift change is very high and may open an opportunity to populists who may promise instant change even if in a reckless manner. We witnessed Burkina Faso under Thomas Sankara fundamentally transform society in a space of four years just as we saw the same with Silvia da Lula who almost eradicated poverty and drastically reduced poverty and inequality in Brazil. We are currently observing Rwanda under Paul Kagame rising from the ashes of a genocide into a serious model of post war reconstruction. Status quo is often maintained and find friends in those who believe in gradualism and incremental approach over an extended period. It is possible to drastically reduce poverty, inequality, and unemployment if the right policies, proper and efficient deployment of resources within a framework of a clear vision and policies that are effectively implemented.

  1. What are your thoughts on radical economic transformation and what policies do you think need to be amended or drafted to achieve this?

I do think that there is an urgent need for genuine transformation of socio-economic as this has been lagging behind in the last two decades. If properly conceptualized and implemented this would create an inclusive economy that will unleash the true potential of this society and optimize its productive capacity. Policies for agrarian transformation and rural development, policy on undoing concentration of economic power in the hands of few dominant corporate companies in each sector of the economy, reforms in the financial sector to enable small and medium black business to assess credit or financial support. Simplification of compliance laws and empowerment laws. Perhaps building state capacity to implement and professionalization of civil service. Rapid redistribution of land and dealing with legacy issues in a creative and comprehensive manner.

  1. What can be done by all sectors of society to ensure that the NDP is implemented effectively and efficiently with the ultimate goal of bridging the poverty and inequality gap? And what role can development NGOs play?

The first assignment should be mobilization of business, government, Labour and civil society into common purpose of rebuilding society and consciously reduce mutual distrust and antagonisms among these role-players into appreciating their interdependencies and strength of collaborative effort. A new consciousness that does not allow any of the role-players to abdicate from their responsibilities and disabuse the society of the notion that government alone can ever transform society. NGOs can play an important role in community development. NGOs must also be conscious of possibilities that donor funding may come with conditions that may take them away from prioritizing their communities. Much of the country’s wealth and GDP is in the hands of the business sector and yet this sector is not playing a prominent role commensurate with their power beyond profit maximization. Corporate social responsibility would be one avenue where business could play a prominent role in development.


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Education Conversations Radio Interview: Sizakele Mphatsoe

Education Conversations Radio Interview:

Kagiso Trust Programme Manager Sizakele Mphatsoe interviewed on Jozi FM on Tuesday, 25 July 2017

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