School @ the Centre of Community

Partners for Possibility launches first Leadership Circle in Letsitele


6 October 2015


Partners for Possibility opens first Leadership Circle in Letsitele


Partners for Possibility has extended its reach in the Limpopo Province after 10 business people and 10 school principals joined together to form Letsitele’s first Leadership Circle.

The circle brings together business leaders from agricultural enterprises and other businesses in the greater Tzaneen Municipal District, while the school principals join from rural schools in the area. Six of the schools are primary schools and the remainder are secondary schools in the area.

Letsitele’s first Leadership Circle will be facilitated by Tim Maake, an accredited Business and Life Skills Coach and final year PhD student from the University of Pretoria. Maake will support each of the 10 partnerships in the circle and will facilitate the various training programmes that form part of the Partners for Possibility programme.

Maake’s facilitation forms part of the award winning Partners for Possibility programme, where business leaders and school principals join together in a yearlong leadership training programme that is accredited by the University of the Western Cape. The programme is designed to improve the leadership skills of both partners, while the partnering principal’s school benefits from the plans and actions of the partnership during their programme.

By focussing in school leadership first and giving each participating school principal a business leader as thinking partner, the Partners for Possibility programme facilitates a systemic change that has proven to benefit the school’s effectiveness and the school’s students over a long term.

“This programme resonates with my life experience and I am excited to share my experience with others,” says Maake of the opportunity to facilitate this circle’s training programme.

Letsitele is situated to the east of Tzaneen and focused primarily on agriculture. Its main produce is citrus and other fruit, beef and tobacco. There are 21 rural villages from the Valoyi Royalty around the town that feed the rural schools in the area and the agriculture industry is heavily reliant on the community for its labour.

“This programme offers us an opportunity to make a difference in the community. I hope that the programme will also allow me to develop a better understanding of the community’s challenges and in doing so, help create a sustainable environment,” says Henk van Rooyen, Operational Director of Groep 91 Uitvoer.

Groep 91 Uitvoer is one of the companies that are financially supporting the project and that has made business leaders from the organisation available to partner with school principals. Other business partners that are offering support and the help of business leaders include Albert Hijn, Waitrose, Du Roi Agritech, the Department of Social Development in the Limpopo Province and Houers Koöperatief

The business leaders that are part of the circle are Mike Sambo, Burgert van Rooyen, Kobus van Wyk, Jan-Louis Pretorius, Felix Hacker, Clive Mashele, Andrew Jackson, Wimpie Mostert, Gina Botha and Henk van Rooyen.

Joining these business people are Abel Mongwe, principal of Mugwazeni Secondary School, Eric Tiba, principal of Mapheto Secondary, Isaac Nkonwana, principal of Hetiseka Secondary, Juliet Shilubana of Nyavana Primary School, Martha Shilote of Vhulakanjani Primary, Mativati Mathye of Mdingazi Primary, Nomsa Mhlongo of Mantunyu Primary, Obert Machimana of Mahwahwa Primary, Suzzy Milazi of Nghwazana Primary and Vincent Mabunda of Gwambeni Secondary.

“We honour you for your courageous leadership, active citizenship and your willingness to step up and lead change outside of your comfort zone,” says Louise van Rhyn, CEO of Partners for Possibility. Van Rhyn is also participating in the programme and is partner to Ridwan Samodien of Kannemeyer Primary in Cape Town.

The creation of the first Leadership Circle in Letsitele brings the total number of schools that have joined the Partners for Possibility programme to 366. This includes schools in East London, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape, Gauteng and Lephalale. Partners for Possibility will also soon form their first leadership circle in Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga Province,

·         Partners for Possibility last month launched the #500Citizens campaign, which calls on at least 500 active citizens to donate R200 per month for 10 months to help fund the rapid growth of the PfP programme. For more information, please visit





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