Better lives for rural people

THE HANTAM COMMUNITY EDUCATION TRUST is a comprehensive educational and development project situated east of Colesberg in the Great Karoo. Begun as a play school in a disused farm building 25 years ago, it has grown into an early learning centre, primary school and intermediate school, housed in a complex built on land donated by a local farmer. The Trust utilises advanced educational methods, including innovative new approaches to achieving basic numeracy and literacy, and helps its learners to complete further education and training. It also manages community health and youth development programmes.


Images of various events at the HCET in the course of 2023. For more, see the Hantam Diary 2023.

HCET Annual Report 2022

We’ve released our Annual Report for 2022. As always, we’ve worked hard to provide a comprehensive account of our activities. To download a desktop version, click on the button below.

HCET hosts FASD workshop

From 13 to 15 June, the HCET hosted a FASD workshop at the MAMAS Alliance headquarters in Johannesburg. Read more >>

Chef trainees attend Cradock Food Festival

On 27 to 30 April 2023, HCET trainee chefs attended the annual Cradock Food Festival, where they hosted their own stall and gained valuable experience at others. Read more >>

HCET staff attend Share 2022 conference

Mary Ann Smith and Estelle Jacobs attended the Share 2022 conference hosted by the Mamas Alliance, held in Cape Town from 31 October to 3 November. Estelle delivered a presentation on FASD. Read more >>

Robert Preller retires

ROBERT PRELLER, pharmacist at the Hantam Primary Health Clinic, has retired. We would like to thank him for his years of faithful service, and wish him a happy retirement.

New uniforms for hospitality students

Housekeeping and Culinary Arts students of 2022 in smart new uniforms acquired with funding from Scorpion Legal. On their way to a good year !


Water, water everywhere ...

At end January / early February, we had abundant rain. It was good for the farms but made life difficult for our drivers, who had to get learners to school and back in safety every day … read more >>

Heritage Day

On 24 September, learners, teachers and Trust staff celebrated Heritage Day with colourful dress, song and dance.

Performing Arts Concert

On 10 August 2021, the Trust staged a Performing Arts Concert. All learners – from Grade R to Grade 8 – participated. Learners sang, danced, and played on drums and other instruments. It was a festive occasion !

Hospitality graduate makes us proud

LUNGELO RALAWE, one of our Hospitality graduates, is working as a chef on Scarlet Lady, flagship of the new premium cruise ship company Virgin Voyages, founded by Sir Richard Branson. The vessel is currently based in Genoa, Italy.

Clare Barnes-Webb retires

CLARE BARNES-WEBB, one of three founders of the Hantam Community Education Trust together with Lesley Osler and Anja Pienaar, has retired. She remains a Trustee of the HCET Endowment Trust. The Trust and the broader Hantam community owe her a huge debt of gratitude. We wish her a happy retirement.

Annual Report 2020

We’ve released our annual report for 2020. It reflects how, in the difficult circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we managed to keep our project alive, with the help of staff, parents, donors, and the entire Hantam community, and also to provide food and other relief to those in need.


An early start

Young children benefit from an effective parenting programme, followed by intensive early learning in a dedicated ECD centre.

Quality schooling

Learners are taught by highly trained teachers using specialised teaching methods, aimed at achieving high levels of literacy and numeracy.

Further education

Successful learners are given bursaries for further education and training, and receive continued guidance and support.

Youth development

Young people who do not continue their formal education benefit from a focused youth development programme.

A healthy community

Learners and their families receive home visits from health workers, and benefit from a community health clinic and pharmacy.

Community participation

Parents and other community members support the Trust, and are actively involved in its governance.


30th anniversary celebrations

On 30 July 2019, we celebrated the HCET’s 30th anniversary with a production of dance and music in the Colesberg High School hall, depicting the journey of children from our humble beginnings to the present.

Thembinkosi's journey

This short video captures the essence of our mission. It traces the life of Thembinkosi Matyeka, who rose from a labourer’s cottage in the district to become junior South African champion welder. As Thembinkosi says, ‘Not bad for a kid from the Karoo!’