The combined financial leveraging has been accompanied by synergised strategic and technical expertise to ensure that the vision of KST is realised.

Five years after a successful partnership – backed by the sterling performance of the FSDoE in the NSC results – KST partnered with the FirstRand Empowerment Foundation (FREF). The partnership between KST and FREF represents an unprecedented opportunity for the continuity of the District Whole School Development (DWSD) model in the Free State. The partnership creates a new era of collaboration and partnerships, enabling the FSDoE and KST to work together to improve the quality of education in the Free State, in a holistic, strategic and sustainable manner.


Through this integration, the District Whole School Development (DWSD) model is poised to influence a broader systematic change in the education sector. The DWSD model is aimed at transforming public school education based on a district by district approach across South Africa.

The implementation of the programme commenced in 2014, in two Free State districts: Motheo and Fezile Dabi. Six years into the programme and we are still excited and energised to continue the work we do to uplift schools, educators, learners and communities. As KST, we recommit ourselves to serving our children and our country.


KST is run by passionate individuals led by CEO Themba Mola. We are dedicated to making an impact in changing the landscape of education in South Africa.

The dedicated workstreams are complemented by the knowledge, guidance and strategic leadership of all four organisations (Free State Department of Education, Kagiso Trust, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation and FirstRand Empowerment Foundation).

This is a unique pilot project and various committees are in place to mitigate potential risks and ensure proper governance and accountability at all levels.

The DWSD model seeks to see many schools undergo systematic transformation through its four-prong approach as follows:
Transformation and Empowerment Workshops:

  • Curriculum development through educator capacitation and training
  • Infrastructure development
  • Instructional Leadership and Governance in the school, including Youth Leadership development

District Whole School Development programme impact figures in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo Districts since inception:
Learners indirectly impacted by the Empowerment and Transformation workshops
Learners referred for further medical attention
Learners underwent vision screening
School facilities renovated
Temporary jobs created