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.

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 18 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

Busisiwe Mningiswa KILT Operations Manager

Busisiwe Mningiswa

Operations Manager

Tamara Sokunentsa KILT Fieldworker

Tamara Sokunentsa


Talita de Beer Monitoring and Evaluation Lead

Talita de Beer

Monitoring and Evaluation Lead and Programme Development Lead

Shireen Nkosi

Public Relations Lead


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


Ms Marcus was Governor of the South African Reserve Bank from 2009–2014. She worked in exile for the African National Congress from 1970 before returning to South Africa in 1990. In 1994 she was elected to the South African Parliament. In 1996 she was appointed as the deputy minister of finance and from 1999 to 2004 was deputy governor of the Reserve Bank. Ms Marcus was the non-executive chair of the Absa Group from 2007–2009 and has been a non-executive director of Gold Fields Ltd and Bidvest.

She has acted as chair of a number of South African regulatory bodies. In 2018, she was appointed to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation.

Merle Friedman Non-Executive Director Deputy Chairperson KILT

Merle Friedman

Non-Executive Director

Merle 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 education NGO sector for 14 years.  She spent eight years at the rural campus of TSiBA Education as a psychological counsellor and, from 2009, as executive director.

Naidene Ford Hoon Non-Executive Director Treasurer KILT

Naidene Ford-Hoon

Non-Executive Director


Naidene is a financial executive and CA. She is on the board of SA Corporate Real Estate Limited. She was a member of the investigation team on the Mpati commission of inquiry. She was GCFO of Alexander Forbes, and of the South African Reserve Bank.

Kusum Gaind Non-Executive Director KILT

Kusum Gaind

Non-Executive Director

Kusum studied in the US and India where she serves on several boards. An MBA graduate, she followed a career in banking. Kusum is passionate about empowering girls and women through education, mentoring and economic equality.

Bonang Mohale Non-Executive Director KILT

Bonang Mohale

Non-Executive Director

Bonang Mohale is Chancellor of the University of the Free State and Professor of Practice, Johannesburg Business School. He currently serves on the Boards of Swiss Re Africa Limited and Rand Merchant Bank Limited (RMB). He was awarded the Free Market Foundation Luminary Award for 2019.

Thuli Mpshe Non-Executive Director KILT

Thuli Mpshe

Non-Executive Director

Thuli Mpshe is an executive coach and independent consultant. She is a seasoned human capital executive with over 20 years’ experience across sectors including banking, retail and aviation. Committed to active citizenry, she is chairperson and non-executive director of the Field Band Foundation and non-executive director of ReimagineSA.

Tyrrel Murray Non-Executive Director KILT

Tyrell Murray

Non-Executive Director

Tyrrel Murray is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Institute of Directors. He heads investor relations at Steinhoff International and represents the company on the KILT Board.

KILT Board Member

Johan Nell

Non-Executive Director

Johann Nel is the Human Resources Director for Abi Sab Group Holding Ltd.  From 2015 to 2017, he held the position of Human Resources Director at Sabmiller PLC.  He has extensive experience in his field, change management, global strategy and leadership.  He has also been engaged in senior executive mentoring and development coaching.

Project Partners

Hero Logo

Psycho-Social Project

Remedial and
Learning Acceleration

Knysna Sports Academy Logo

After School Sport
Primary Schools

BSM Sports Development Logo

High School

Edunova Logo

E-Learning Integration

Lego Robotics

Hope HQ Skills Development Logo

After School Study Clubs

Afterschool Programme

Knysna Education Trust Logo

Foundation Phase
Teacher Training