Thembisile Nwendamutswu’s legacy lives on through NECT initiates.

The sad passing of Thembisile Nwendamutswu, Limpopo MEC of Education, is not only a great loss for her family, friends and colleagues, but also for the learners in Limpopo, who benefited from her dedication and commitment to improving education in the province.

Under the leadership of Limpopo MEC of Education, Thembisile Nwendamutswu, the vision of the Limpopo Department of Education was stated as: “to be a catalyst for human development, providing innovative and inspiring, quality lifelong education”. It certainly is a tall order in Limpopo, where the schooling system is generally characterised by disarray and matric results are almost at the bottom of the rung in South Africa. Nevertheless, it was widely recognised that MEC Nwendamutswu was the ideal person to transform education for the two million learners in the province.

MEC Nwendamutswu Thembi was well known for her fiscal discipline and commitment to improving the lives of the people. Before joining the Limpopo provincial cabinet, she was Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Development Trust (IDT), credited with turning the IDT into a world-class state agency.
While her career in the education department was cut short after just nine months, she had already established a reputation as - in the words of Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga - “a hardworking and committed leader... showing great leadership and potential”. Dedicated to transforming education in the province, Thembi worked closely with the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), widely active in the Limpopo province where it supports over 1500 schools though various programmes.


“It is a sad loss for us to lose a dedicated partner who worked tirelessly together with us to reach the NECT’s one aim: to contribute actively to the transformation of South African education – one of the top priorities of the National Development Plan,” says Godwin Khosa, CEO of the NECT, a partnership that funds and co-ordinates the efforts of government, labour, business, NGOs and school governing bodies for optimal efficiency to improve education outcomes. Private sector funding of the NECT is matched by government rand for rand. 

“We extend our deepest condolences to the MEC’s family, friends and colleagues, her commitment to the people of Limpopo, and particularly to the improvement of education for our children, will be sorely missed, but never forgotten,” says Judge Joseph Raulinga, Vhembe District Steering Committee Chair of the NECT. “Her work ethic was characterised by integrity and dedication and we enjoyed a productive and beneficial working relationship with Thembi as the NECT objectives are closely aligned with her vision for education in Limpopo. The power of her thoughts and words on matters of education leaves an indelible mark on our minds. We will honour her legacy and contribution to education in the province by continuing to support schools in Limpopo, and across the country, through various NECT initiatives, detailed on ” 

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