Shalamuka Capital is the BEE investment vehicle 
that transpired as a result of the partnership between the Shalamuka Foundation and RMB Corvest. Shalamuka Capital

The Shalamuka Foundation

The Shalamuka Foundation is an endowment fund that was formed in 2006 to raise long-term, sustainable funding for its sole beneficiary, the Penreach Whole School Development Programme (Penreach). The Foundation has a two-pronged investment approach, namely to take part in BEE deals done by listed companies, and to build a private equity business though Shalamuka Capital.

The Shalamuka model makes use of the opportunities, skills and capital provided by the trustees and other volunteers involved to ensure the benefits flow directly to the intended recipients. The overheads are minimal as much of the work is carried out by the Shalamuka trustees on a voluntary basis.

The trustees to the Fund are respected members of the business community and have impressive socio-economic development track records. Majority (85%) of the trustee members are black, female South Africans. The trustees are volunteers and do not benefit economically in any way from Shalamuka or Penreach.

The Shalamuka success story

The Shalamuka Foundation believes that a good teacher makes a poor student good and a good student superior. So when students fail, teachers too have failed. The Shalamuka Foundation was formed by Paul Harris (former CEO of the FirstRand Group) to address South Africa’s ongoing need for quality education in disadvantaged communities.

Paul’s vision was to create a long-term, sustainable funding vehicle that would not just pay lip service to problems in the community regarding education, but one that would make a real difference to inspire, educate and empower teachers, learners and communities.

The Foundation earmarked Penreach a non-profit, in-service skills development programme that supports educators in Mpumalanga and surrounding communities, as a suitable vehicle to realise its vision.

The Foundation subsequently partnered with RMB Corvest (a private equity company of the FirstRand Group) in 2008 to establish Shalamuka Capital as its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment private equity company, to generate long-term sustainable funding for Penreach through private equity and BEE deals.


Penreach is an NGO and a social impact organisation working towards educational excellence in disadvantaged rural communities in Mpumalanga. Penreach was established in 1991 to provide access to quality education and is known for its local knowledge and expertise on grassroot level.

Penreach reaches more than 500 000 beneficiaries each year with Early Childhood Development, Literacy and Numeracy, Math & Science and Leadership projects in the Ehlanzeni district. This includes 130 ECD centres, 97 schools, 125 communities and the classrooms of 1200 teachers.

Through innovative coaching, mentoring and training Penreach builds the capacity of leaders and educators to deliver quality education to children from 0 years to grade 12. We work closely with caregivers, parents, learners, children and other stakeholders such as the Department of Education, and Department of Social Services and NGOs in the education space to achieve our goals.

Penreach has become known as a social impact organisation making inroads in skills development and capacity building in education. Penreach is entrenched at grass root level and serves in real and practical ways to meet the needs of communities.

"With collective efforts of invested partners, funders and collaborators Penreach creates social change through education. Our programmes provide much needed skills to educators, school leaders and caregivers changing trajectories of our beneficiaries. We are privileged to play our part as change makers." - CEO of Penreach, Andile Ncontsa

RMB Corvest

RMB Corvest is a private equity company and is a member of the FirstRand Group. It has completed over 200 deals, has an established track record, staff highly experienced in private equity and access to the resources of the RMB group. In addition, it is an on balance sheet company and therefore does not have the exit timing pressures of a private equity fund.