Dear Friends of the Foundation. We are so humbled by the huge support we’ve been receiving over the last 11 years of our existence, people who trust in us, and believe in us. This has made us pioneer ahead in all our endeavours.
Today, we want to ask for assistance in another form. We all know about the challenges our economy is facing. These challenges do not exempt organisations like ours, and as a result, we are also struggling to keep on keeping on.
We are asking our friends and family to help us, help our community, in our quest to bring about change, and better lives for all. Please make a small donation on our website (, and feel how good it feels to make a difference!


UNISA’s Department of Geography, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in collaboration with the GRCF plans to Launch a Short Learning Program (SLP) on CAMP for C In 2012!

Unisa’s Department of Geography have been involved with the Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation since 2007, as a partner in their Community Engagement Program. Through this partnership, the academics in the Department were able to enter communities at grass-roots level, not only to undertake research, but also to understand the various approaches and techniques used by community empowerment organisations and community grantmakers to effect real change in the everyday lives of the communities that fall within their mandate. With this valuable experience and in consultation with the GRCF, the Department has decided to bring together the collective knowledge of philanthropy, communities and academia in the development of short learning programmes (SLP). The relevant documentation for these programmes has been developed and will be processed through the University approval process within the next few weeks for full implementation in 2012.

The first SLP, which will be presented for the first time in 2012, will be on CAMP for Change, (Community Asset Mapping Programmes for Change) and (Community Action Mobilization Programmes for Change). The focus will be on the approach that can be followed by participating stakeholders to support roots driven change projects.

The purpose of the second SLP will be to share the knowledge and skills of existing Community Foundations that will enable relevant stakeholders to create and maintain a Community Foundation or Community Grant-making Organisation, not only within South-Africa, but also within the African context.

Says Melanie Nicolau, Chair of the Department of Geography: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Department, not only because we are expanding our range of offerings to potential students in this field, we are truly able to commit to UNISA’s vision, of being the African university, in service of humanity”. She further explains, that these SLP’s will be offered as part of their community engagement initiatives, and any financial profit made will not benefit the individual academics, but rather the various organisations participating in the presentation of the programme as well as the communities that are used as case studies in the actual teaching of the programmes. She added that the benefit for the Department would be in terms of the research outputs of the individual academics participating in the community engagement project.

The Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation wishes to extend an open invitation to all other community grantmakers, community foundations and development organisations in South-Africa, and the rest of Africa, to participate in this exciting development in our field. There will be opportunities for knowledgeable individuals from such organisations to present lectures and write study material for the SLPs and any benefits from such activities will be distributed amongst participating organisations.

“This is a huge breakthrough for us,” says Christine Delport, COO of the Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation, “finally, we are able to pool assets from Africa, FOR Africa. For me, this is what epitomises true community mobilisation, and makes me proud to be part of this African community”.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact Christine directly on +27 14 592 1525, or

We are excited to announce that together with UNISA’s Department of Geography, we will be hosting the Community Asset Mapping Program (CAMP) for Change, a Roots Driven Rural Development Conference in October this year.

This conference will be a platform for constructive conversation regarding traditional and contemporary paradigms of rural development, and will bring Government, Business, the NGO sector, Academia and the community together, in order to discuss solutions, and new movements in this field.

Download this document for some initial information, and diarise 10 – 12 October 2011 for an insightful couple of days!

CAMP Conference alert

The Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation is proud to announce that the North-West leg of the Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map literacy competition will this year be judged in our very own Waterfall Mall, in Rustenburg.

Through the efforts of Unisa’s Department of Geography, children from all over the Bojanala district will be afforded the chance to display their artworks in the Waterfall Mall, and stand a chance at winning prizes such as laptop’s, MP3 players, camera’s and the like. Finalists will be chosen and the next national round will be judged in Pretoria, where finally, 6 contestants from South-Africa will be entered into the international judging that takes place in France later this year.

The collaboration between the Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation, and the Department of Geography at Unisa, spans across a number of projects, where critical information regarding our region, its communities and citizens are recorded, and translated into workable solutions for a healthy and sustainable environment.

The map competition is no different. Says Melanie Nicolau, Head of Department of Geography at Unisa, “by collecting information from the children’s drawings, we are able to assess how children position themselves in the world, and how they perceive the world around them”.

This competition was launched in 1993, in memory of Barbara Petchenik, who’s life mission it was to promote map literacy and basic geography among children.
The decline in map literacy all over the world has become a major concern for educators and parents alike, and through this competition, it is expected that children will become excited to learn about their world again. This year’s theme is “Our Globalised World”.

For further enquiries or to enter, contact Thembi at the Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation on 014 592 1530 or, or bring your artwork to the Waterfall Mall from 16 – 18 February in the Woolworths court. The winner will be announced at 15:00 on 18 February, at the exhibition.
Children from the ages of 4 – 16 can enter, and artworks should be on an A3 size paper, and can use any medium of their choice.

As the year draws to an end and we close our offices for 2010, we send our warmest well wishes for a happy and prosperous Holiday Season to all of our friends and supporters! It has been a great 10 years so far and we are excited for all that is to come 2011.  Our offices will be closed from December 3, 2010 to January 10, 2011.

We will continue to rely on all of you for helping us make the Bojanala region the place we all love to call home. To that end, if you are feeling generous this holiday season please feel free to make a donation to the GRCF online through our website.

Happy Holidays and all the best to everyone for the New Year!


The GRCF team

Our final newsletter of 2010 gives a summary of the past year and a glimpse of the way forward! Click below to download.

GRCF DECEMBER 2010 Newsletter

GRCF's CEO George Mathuse speaks at the opening of Borolelo Community Hall

With 2010 almost coming to a close, we at the GRCF are busy following up on our ABCD communities to see how they are progressing as well as to figure out the way forward for 2011.  Due to different contexts of each community – chosen deliberately for their differences so as to help inform our research on best practices – some have progressed much faster than others and some will need a lot more input from us and our partners going forward, while others are almost self-sustaining already.

In Borolelo, near Swartruggens, the Itikeng Community group has helped to

Celebrations for opening of the Borolelo Community Hall

renovate a community hall as part of a EPW (Expanded Public Works) Program and officially opened it as the Borolelo Community Hall a few weeks ago.  The opening event was a huge success and now the many ABCD generated projects will have a central meeting area. The GRCF has recently invested in the region by helping fund the repair of a water source for the group.  In other areas, such as our pilot community in Mathopestat, the original members have changed since last year but the current group is going strong and has started a second large garden in the area, which is turning a nice profit.

Second large garden in Mathopestat is doing well.

Our other communities are to one degree or another all engaged in various socio-economic projects but need more resources to speed up the process – we are hoping that one of the local big businesses will come through in the new year and help us fund these high-potential groups!  That is how we hope to promote an “Invest in Success” Development strategy for Bojanala.

COO & Founder Christine Delport, CEO George Mathuse, Corne Theunissen

On Friday October 29th the GRCF celebrated our 10th year anniversary at the Estara Lodge just outside of Rustenburg. It was a beautiful evening featuring live music, a DVD of GRCF’s biggest achievements, an art auction and several moving speeches.

The evening was a chance for GRCF to celebrate all that we have achieved in the past 10 years as well as to thank all those who have supported us over the years. From humble beginnings as one of the first community foundations on the African continent, we have now grown to serve hundreds of NPOs and thousands of beneficiaries through our programs and grant making in the Bojanala region.  “We know that we owe this success not only to the dedication of our founding team but to our friends, donors and supporters.  We are immensely grateful to be surrounded by such giving and dedicated individuals”, says Christine.

During the course of the evening, the GRCF’s COO Christine Delport and CEO George Mathuse both gave inspiring speeches  about the journey of the foundation. We were also lucky to have with us Beata Hirt, of the Healthy City Community Foundation in Slovakia, who gave her view on why community foundations are such a powerful paradigm.  The Head of the Department of Geography at UNISA, Melanie Nicolau also added to the dialogue by talking about the importance of effective development in light of the Millennium Development Goals – on which Africa is currently behind. The day ended with musical performances and the auction of a painting that had been donated by a local artist, Molefe Jacob Monaisa

All in all, fun was had by everyone and the elegant dinner and settings were just one way for us to express our sincere gratitude to our supporters.

To the staff, board and all of the friends of the foundation: from the very bottom of our hearts a warm and sincere thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It is only through collective effort that success can be reached. Here is to another 10 successful years, and beyond!

Painting donated for auction by local artist Molefe Jacob Monaisa

Click on the link below to download our latest newsletter for the month of November:

GRCF Newsletter November 2010