R1 billion endowment by the Oppenheimer family to support education in South Africa

The Oppenheimer family is delighted to announce a major new endowment of R1 billion to the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust. This donation effectively doubles the size of the Trust and underlines the family’s commitment to the advancement of education in South Africa.

The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust was founded by Harry Oppenheimer to honour the memory of his father, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. From the time of its establishment in 1958, it has carried on the philanthropic traditions of the Oppenheimer family with the intention of making a positive difference to society. The Trust has always focused on the development of people and learning, with an emphasis on enabling individuals to further their education and fulfil their potential. There are many examples of the Trust’s investments in the growth of human capital and many beneficiaries have gone on to make important contributions to public life in South Africa. Over the years, the Trust has also supported a large number of organisations, institutions and good causes in other areas, adapting and responding to changing needs.

Mary Slack and Nicky Oppenheimer, in making the announcement, said:

“The Oppenheimer family is deeply committed to education in South Africa and believes that every South African should have access to high standards of education at all levels. The future of our country is in its people and the Trust’s aim is to help shape society in a positive way. We are proud of the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust’s long tradition of investing in education, promoting scholarship and encouraging new ideas. The donation will enable the Trust to expand its important work and support exciting new initiatives in areas considered paramount to the success of our young democracy.”

Responding to the announcement, Bobby Godsell, a Trustee of the Trust, said:

“The additional resources now available will make the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust one of South Africa’s largest and most prestigious public benefit organisations. lt will be possible to provide increased funding to many existing programmes as well as extend our reach in education and related fields and the Board will be discussing strategy to chart a new path. On behalf of the Trustees, I would like to express our enormous appreciation to the Oppenheimers for this large and significant donation which clearly underscores the family’s commitment not only to improving the quality of education but also to finding solutions to some of South Africa’s many challenges.”

— 26 November 2012