KILT child education history

When Gill Marcus retired to Knysna in 2016, local principals approached her and asked for help with problems in their schools. The principals identified the most pressing needs an education partner could address and suggested potential solutions. The Knysna Initiative for Learning and Teaching (KILT) arose from that discussion, and Gill registered it as a non-profit organisation in April 2017. In 2023 KILT became a Non-Profit Company (NPC).

KILT began by paying for additional teachers and auxiliary staff to reduce large class sizes immediately by lowering the teacher-to-learner ratio. Very soon, we developed tailored reading programmes and remedial support for children. We also created projects to support teachers and principals and provide psycho-social support plus extracurricular activities and projects that address aspects of school safety. Slowly and systematically, KILT expanded its support, including addressing ablution hygiene and school safety.

10 943

Learners Impacted

We now run 17 projects in 17 schools in the Knysna District and have achieved an astonishing reach in just five years.


KILT’s leadership is an experienced group of professionals who believe in the power of learning and teaching. Our team of bright, talented, and passionate people understand the industry and work to support our schools through their various areas of expertise.

Sandy Ueckermann Managing Director KILT

Sandy Ueckermann

Managing Director

Brenda Edington KILT Finance Executive

Brenda Edington

Finance Executive

Busisiwe Mningiswa KILT Operations Manager

Busisiwe Mningiswa

Operations Manager

Tamara Sokunentsa KILT Fieldworker

Tamara Sokunentsa

Project Capacity Lead

Talita de Beer Monitoring and Evaluation Lead

Talita de Beer

Monitoring and Evaluation Lead and Programme Development Lead

Anda Hani KILT Office Administrator

Anda Hani

Office Administrator


Our Board of Directors represents a wealth of experience and insight and have decades of expertise in their respective fields. These committed advisors support us through this journey and keep us focused on our mission of fostering self-empowered schools.

Gill Marcus Non-Executive Director Chairperson KILT

Gill Marcus

Non Executive Director

Gill Marcus was Governor of the South African Reserve Bank from 2009 to 2014. She worked in exile for the African National Congress from 1970 before returning to South Africa in 1990. In 1994, she was elected to Parliament. In 1996 she became Deputy Minister of Finance and she was Deputy Reserve Bank Governor from 1999 to 2004. She has held various other public and private sector board and regulatory positions. Gill chairs KILT board meetings.

Merle Friedman Non-Executive Director Deputy Chairperson KILT

Merle Friedman

Non Executive Director

Merle Friedman has a PhD and is a registered clinical psychologist. She has served on local and international professional boards associated with her specialisation in traumatic stress and resilience.

Sandy Ueckermann KILT Managing Director

Sandy Ueckermann

Managing Director

Sandy Ueckermann has worked in the nongovernmental education sector for 14 years. She spent eight years at the Knysna rural campus of TSiBA Education, a nonprofit business school, from 2009 as executive director. She is responsible for programme development and for finding and managing KILT’s outsourced service providers. She has led KILT for the last six years.

Jannie Lubbe

Adv Jannie Lubbe

Non Executive Director

Senior Advocate Jannie Lubbe was the Chairperson of the Free State Society of Advocates and acted as a Judge of the Free State High Court. He was an Associate Director of KPMG and was involved in high level forensic investigations in RSA, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini (Swaziland). He chaired the Audit Committees of both the Free State and Northern Cape Legislatures for many years, and in 2019, he was the Chief Evidence Leader of the PIC Commission of Inquiry.

Kusum Gaind Non-Executive Director KILT

Kusum Gaind

Non Executive Director

Kusum Gaind studied in the US and India where she serves on several boards as Treasurer. She has 30 years’ experience in consumer banking, working for Citicorp, Merrill Lynch and other global financial institutions. Kusum is passionate about empowering girls and women through education, mentoring and economic equality.

Thuli Mpshe

Non Executive Director

Thuli is a credentialed executive coach and an independent contractor and consultant. She has extensive experience in leading and transforming human capital as a general manager and executive director spanning over twenty years across industries including banking, retail, and aviation. She is a non executive director and chair of Field Band Foundation and non executive director for ReimagineSA.

Tyrrel Murray Non-Executive Director KILT

Tyrrel Murray

Non Executive Director

Tyrrel Murray is a Chartered Accountant (SA), a Chartered Director, and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (SA). He has more than 20 years’ experience in finance and investor relations. He has served on a number of listed and unlisted boards as an independent non executive director.

KILT Board Member

Johann Nel

Non Executive Director

Johann Nel was the Global Human Resources Director for SABMiller plc based in London. He retired in 2016 and lives in Knysna where he has had a home for 20 years. He has extensive experience in global strategy, organisational change, talent management and leadership development.

Rory Scott KILT Non Executive Director

Rory Scott

Non Executive Director

Rory is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and was previously CFO of Dimension Data Ltd and non executive director and chairman of the audit and risk committee of Dimension Data Plc and NTT Ltd. He was CEO of the Scottish Knitwear Group until 2022. He currently provides a business consultancy service to small and medium size enterprises.

KILT Board Member Dr Vincent Maphai Image

Dr Vincent Maphai

Non Executive Director

Dr Vincent Maphai is the Chairman of the Sibanye-Stillwater Board and Deputy Chairman of Seasoned Capital. He has served on the boards of various companies as non-executive chairperson, and has also held a two-year academic position at Williams College in Massachusetts.
Dr Maphai was also Chairman of the Presidential Review Commission, a body set up by then president Nelson Mandela to investigate government restructuring and service delivery.

Project Partners

Knysna Education Trust Logo

Grade R Teacher Development

Edunova Logo


LEGO Robotics

Hope HQ Skills Development Logo

Afterschool Study Clubs

Afterschool Coordination Programme

Knysna Sports Academy Logo

Afterschool Sport