The Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust
The Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust was formed in 1995 by its Patron, His Excellency Jacob G Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, who was a Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal at that time.
Using an RDP Discretionary Fund of R500 000, which was provided to each MEC to establish a project of his/her choice, Mr Zuma opted to focus his attention on providing access to education for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and youth in society. This focus on education was as a result of his firm belief in education being the most real and sustainable form of empowerment.
The Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust started its work in KwaZulu-Natal, and has since extended its footprints to the Eastern Cape and the Limpopo Provinces. It strategic objective is to extend its reach to the rest of South Africa within the next three to five years.
The Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees comprising representatives from the private sector, former beneficiaries of the Trust and academics. The day-to-day operations are managed by a team led by the Chief Executive Officer, with offices in Durban, Inkandla, East London, Polokwane and Johannesburg.
Over the years, the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust has benefited over 20 000 young people. Currently, it is supporting 1200 young people at tertiary and basic education levels.
The Trust depends, mainly, on donations and sponsorships to advance its objectives. It has forged strategic partnerships with organizations such as Cipla South Africa, Camac International Corporation and MerSeta on educational matters of common interest. The Trust has a policy of utilizing a least 80% of all money raised towards its core business and 20% or less towards its operations. On a yearly basis, it is audited by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC).
Activities of the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust
In an effort to bridge the divide between the disadvantaged background of its beneficiaries and the competitive workplace that they find themselves in after graduation, the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust seeks to introduce students to mentorship, internship and in-service opportunities. These outreach programmes are over and above the core business of providing access to education.
Distinguishing Attributes of the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust
- The Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust has an intimate understanding of its beneficiaries and their backgrounds and abilities;
- It ensures that it takes a holistic approach in advancing its core business; and
- The inclusion of former beneficiaries amongst staff members and the Board of Trustees ensures continuity, and this also keeps the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust updated with regards to the realities and challenges faced by contemporary students and learners.