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HCET annual report 2017

We’ve just released our annual report for 2017. It reflects on another busy, eventful but mostly successful year for the HCET. Our thanks to all our staff who continue to sustain this project!

Hard copies are available from the HCET. To download a desktop version, click here.

Abe Katise retires

Abe Katise, the Trust’s groundsman and driver for the past 23 years, has retired. We would like to thank Abe for everything he has done for the Trust over the years, including being willing to drive all over the country when necessary, and wish him and his wife, Florence, a happy retirement in Noupoort.

Cum laude degree for Robin Pillay

A former HCET learner, Robin Pillay, has graduated Cum Laude with a degree in radiology from the Central University of Technology (CUT) in the Free State. The Trust granted Robin a bursary to continue her studies and board at Middelburg High School for Grade 8 to 12. Her matric results earned her a bursary from the Department of Health, which enabled her to attend the CUT. Here she is at her graduation with her proud mother.

HCET learner shines in provincial athletics

After three athletics meetings in the region, Simphiwe Singaphi, a Grade 7 learner at the Umthombo Wolwazi Intermediate Farm School, went through to the Northern Cape Secondary Schools Provincial Track and Field Championships held at the De Beers Stadium in Kimberley on 2 March, and came fifth in the under-13 long jump event.

Honorary Trustee passes away

Eddie Daniels, an Honorary Trustee, passed away in Somerset West in February 2018. Eddie spent 15 years as a political prisoner on Robben Island. Several year ago, he gave a talk at the school that was so immensely inspiring that we invited him to become an Honorary Trustee. He took a keen interest in the school, and will be sorely missed.

HCET Youth Development Centre assessed

The HCET has changed its hospitality certificate course into a Diploma Course in Culinary Arts. This has required course accreditation by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), one of three Quality Councils (QCs) responsible for a part of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

On 22—23 February, Estelle Jacobs, the HCET’s Project Manager and Manager of its Youth Development Centre in Colesberg, travelled to Pretoria to prepare for the visit by an assessor of the Council, which eventually took place on 26 February. By May, the HCET was still waiting for accreditation.

Visit by rural US development study team

Lesley Osler with Stellenbosch University students at the HCET.

On 16 February 2018, Prof Cheryl Walker of Stellenbosch University visited the HCET with several Masters and PhD students conducting research into rural development.

Cheryl is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. She has extensive research and applied experience in land, development and gender studies in South Africa and on the subcontinent. In 2009, she received a Rector’s Award for Excellence in Research.

HCET learners excel in essay competition

At the prize-giving, from left to right: Teacher Anel Heydenrych, Likhona Banjwa, proud mom Busi May, Gift May, and school principal Marié Botha.

In February, two former HCET learners, Likhona Banjwa and Gift May, heard that they had come first and second in the Provincial Essay Competition held last year by the Department of Education in the Northern Cape. Both passed Grade 9 at our school last year.

Encouraged by their English teacher, Anel Heydenrych, they wrote and submitted essays on the prescribed topic, namely ‘The South African Bill of Rights’.

Likhona won R3 000 for herself, R5 000 for the school, and a trip to Robben Island and Parliament. Gift won R2 000 for himself and a visit to the Provincial Legislature in Kimberley. This is a huge achievement for learners for whom English is a second language.

This year, both students have progressed to Grade 10. Likhona is studying at the Cradock High School, with the asistance of a Trust bursday, and Gift is studying at a school in Boshoff in the Free State.

Mandela Initiative Conference

On 12—14 February 2018, Lesley Osler, the HCET Project Coordinator, and Estelle Jacobs, its Project Manager, attended a Mandela Initiative conference in Cape Town.

The Mandela Initiative is a multisectoral platform for investigating and developing strategies for overcoming poverty and inequality. It is a university-led national initiative, developed in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. For more information, see

Education officials observe HCET Special Needs classes

On 8 February 2018, three members of the Department of Education Inclusive Education Team from De Aar visited the Trust school to observe our Special Needs classes, and to discuss possible support.

They were very impressed with our Special Needs initiative, which is aimed at providing an enabling learning environment for children who cannot cope with the normal curriculum. Among other things, we have developed a dedicated Special Needs curriculum, which has been approved by the Department.