Formed in 2005, the Rabie Foundation is responsible for administering the group’s corporate social responsibility programme. Since inception, the Foundation has concentrated its efforts on helping the poorest of the poor, assisting many needy organisations and individuals from disadvantaged communities.
The broad range of beneficiaries, chosen, according to select criteria, have included night shelters to soup kitchens and organisations dealing with AIDS orphans.
In recent years our focus has shifted predominantly towards education. In 2007 we adopted the Sinenjongo High School in Joe Slovo Park, in Milnerton close to Century City as the major beneficiary of our CSI programme. Initially we established a computer laboratory and a science laboratory at the school – important developments for an institution that until then had had to teach science with little or no practical facilities.
We realised early on that capex projects alone was not going to make a sustainable difference. What was required was to uplift the standard of education offered at the school. As such most of our interventions are aimed at a widespread, ongoing mentoring and an upskilling programme for the teaching staff of the school.
We currently pay the salaries of five additional maths, science and English teachers as well as fund projects such as the SMILE (St Marys Interactive Learning Experience) aimed at improving the English proficiency of learners and teachers.
In 2012 the school achieved a 94% Matric pass rate and was named one of the ten most improved schools in the Western Cape for the second consecutive year.
The 94% pass rate – a far cry from the abysmal 27% pass rate of 2008 – is doubly impressive given the fact that the number of learners staying through to matric has more than doubled in recent years – 92 wrote last year against less than 40 in 2007.
In 2012, the number of learners achieving Bachelor passes enabling them to go on to study at university jumped to 33 or 34,4% against 19 learners (21,8%) in 2011 while a total of 38 learners achieved a Diploma pass in 2012 enabling them to go onto study a diploma course at tertiary level.
Some highlights of 2012 include a 100% pass rate in English First Additional Language, Computer Applications Technology, Tourism and IsiXhosa Home Language. The pass rate for Accounting was 92%, Economics 96%, Geography 92%, Physical Science 88%, Maths Literacy 95% and Maths 71%.
The results showed further improvement in the number of learners achieving 50%or more per while the top student for 2012, Simbarashe Fadzi achieved five As – mathematics, Geography, Life Sciences, Physical Science and Life Orientation and two Bs for English and isiXhosa.
While great strides have been made, there is a long road of continued hard work ahead to ensure Sinenjongo’s metamorphoses into a Centre of Excellence. The great deal of work remaining is going to take a great deal of corporate funding to realize it and Rabie has partnered with other corporates and the Platteklip Charity Challenge to make this happen.
A few years back we set up the Marconi Beam Schools Trust, which has PBO status and is able to issue Section 18A certificates to donors. This is audited by Mazars while Rabie absorbs the administration costs of the fund to allow every cent donated can go towards salaries and programmes at the school.
The turnaround strategy at the school has received incredible support from the Premier, MEC Donald Grant, as well as the Western Cape Education Department generally and all are as excited as we are at the success of this pioneering public private partnership which is becoming a blueprint of what can be achieved if the public and private sectors work together to stem the crisis in education afflicting our country and assist the youth of our country to reach their full potential.
The Foundation, which is run by a representative committee of staff which meets at least once a month, has also initiated a bursary programme to fund promising, tertiary level property and/or construction students from previously disadvantaged communities.
In the mid-1980s, prior to democracy, the Rabie Group moved into many of the townships around the country (Meadowlands, Soweto, Umlazi, Khayelitsha, Khatlahong, Daveyton, Lamontville and Duduza to mention but a few) in a bid to provide affordable housing for marginalised and disadvantaged communities. We developed about 500 homes a month over a six to seven year period before the bond boycotts made it impossible to continue operating in this market.
Since then, we have been directly involved in the planning and development of Joe Slovo Park, in Marconi Beam, and Westlake Village, in Westlake Estate – both social housing projects in which squatter communities from these two sites were re-housed.
The Rabie Group pioneered BEE partnerships well before democracy. In the late 1980s the Group took private equity in a black-owned investment business, Combi Investments, which went on establish Master Currency, now a leader in the field of foreign exchange. In the early 1990s the group also undertook the development of petrol stations in the Eastern Cape with Combi Investments and went on to jointly develop Nyanga Junction, a shopping centre that straddles the communities of Gugulethu and Mannenburg. The shopping centre opened in 1994.In more recent years we have forged BEE joint ventures or partnerships with, among others:
The Rabie Group has pioneered public private partnerships with various parastatals, provincial and local authorities from the early 1990s. These unlock enormous value from land assets owned by these bodies and, in the case of Marconi Beam and Westlake Estate, using the principle of cross-subsidization to resettle squatter communities in formal housing on the same site.
In two other major developments with municipal authorities, and in conjunction with Cavcor, The Rabie Group acted as Development Facilitators to help local authorities maximize the value of large tracts of land.
In 2000, working together as the Rabcav consortium, we helped the City of Cape Town to plan, rezone and develop a 120-hectare tract of land adjacent to Bloubergstrand, known as Big Bay. The resultant mixed-use development proposal opened up a total of 2 400 residential units, 38 000 square metres of commercial space, a petrol filling station, and public amenities.
In Hermanus, working together with BEE partner Buyambo, we facilitated the development of Fernkloof Estate on the Hermanus Golf Course, on behalf of the Overstrand Municipality. Proceeds from this development are being used to fund various critical infrastructure projects in the greater Hermanus area for the benefit of Overstrand ratepayers. The development included the extension of the Hermanus Golf Course from 18 to 27 holes, the creation of 15 golf lodges and 330 residential erven.