900 business-education partnerships launched since 2011

Partners for Possibility (PfP), the flagship programme of Symphonia for South Africa (SSA), is a step closer to realising its bold and audacious vision of quality education for all children by 2030.

The innovative nation building initiative recently launched its 900th business-education partnership – in just seven years – at the Peter Zongwane Primary School in Tembisa, Gauteng.

This noteworthy milestone underscores a successful year which saw the award-winning initiative welcome an additional 217 school principals and their business leader counterparts onto the programme across the vast expanse of South Africa. This achievement bears testament to the ever-increasing momentum of the programme, which was founded in 2010, and to the possibilities that can be generated through collaborative effort, innovative thinking and active citizenship.

“We developed the Partners for Possibility programme to assist in addressing the national education crisis” says Dr Louise van Rhyn,Founder of PfP and CEO of Symphonia for South Africa.

‘’By bringing together key stakeholders in such a productive way, we are able to make a real difference, one school at a time. We know that poverty continues to stifle meaningful progress in South Africa. It is becoming increasingly clear that education is a viable means to overcome this inherited poverty and inequality, with the scourge of poverty being best tackled through the creation of an effective state and culture of active citizenship,‘’ she added.

As the Business Partner in the 900th partnership to join the PfP leadership development and principal support programme, Thabo Setloboko, Operational Risk Manager at FirstRand, who is partnered with Principal Vhusa Ngoveni of Hitekani Primary in Soweto, expressed his excitement and his expectations as he embarks on the PfP leadership experience.

‘’The fact that the PfP programme is addressing, in the most practical terms, the key challenge of quality education in our country, really excites me,” said Setloboko.

‘’There have been plenty of talks and complaints about the quality of education. I believe that we must take action to fix this using a structured, environmentally-friendly approach, which enables and empowers key role players such as principals, School Management Teams and School Governing Bodies.

For me, I hope this to be a journey of learning first-hand about the unfiltered challenges faced by the schooling community, and looking at ingenious solutions to these problems. I’ll certainly be learning a lot and I look forward to imparting whatever skills I have acquired from the corporate environment,’’ he added.

The FirstRandgroup (FNB, RMB, WesBank, Ashburton and FCC), has been a key, constant supporter of PfP programme since 2015. On behalf of the FirstRand Group, Desiree Storey, Manager of the FirstRand Volunteers Programme, spoke of the multiple benefits the PfP programme has had for its business, and why the programme’s approach has seen measurable success in tackling the education crisis in South Africa.

“The PfP programme has sensitized our business leaders to the needs of under-resourced communities, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding and empathy towards colleagues and clients. Our business leaders have in turn encouraged employee involvement at these schools, all resulting in embedding a culture of active citizenship into the DNA of the business. PfP is developing more conscious, ethical and strong leadership in our businesses and schools, which we need to solve the critical issues facing education in the country. I believe that the programme will continue to remain relevant, as it is well aligned to the goals of the National Development Plan,’’ said Storey.

PfP is consistently recruiting more leaders to participate in the programme in order to reach more schools across South Africa. Participation is open to mid- to high level leaders, managers and entrepreneurs.

Business leaders and principals who are interested in the programme can make contact at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alternatively, if you know someone who may be interested, please forward these details to them.

Visit www.PfP4SA.org for more information.

30 November -1, 00:00