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The Trust

The GST is a public trust that supports human rights, civic space and community initiatives. Our legal structure encourages democratic participation and reflects the rights-based approach of the Trust. The Trust and its partner organisations comply with legal and other requirements for trusts and non-profit organisations and are registered under sections 30 and 18A with the Receiver of Revenue. We support projects that have significant impact, but also allow individual interaction and growth.




A small group of friends in Stellenbosch established the GSDT in 2001. In Kayamandi, they bought a beer hall that had burned down some years earlier and built classrooms for adult education, including art, crafts and music.

An early pivot was into early childhood education. When the organisation was founded, many young children in Kayamandi did not attend school. So the trustees launched programmes to support families placing such children in school and establishing preschool education and after-school care programmes.


After 2006, the Trust began consolidating thirty programmes into clusters, particularly education; culture; enterprise; and civil support. Amongst others, we have supported about a thousand small businesses. And to strengthen civil society, the Trust also provided administrative and management support for other community organisations.

During this time, the Trust developed a coherent rights-based approach to its activities.


In 2010, the Trust rebuilt the Trust Centre and launched Amazink, Kayamandi’s first daily sit-down eatery. As a theatre restaurant, it gained iconic status, presenting long-running popular musicals and training talented Kayamandi residents.


In 2016, responding to a crisis in education in Kayamandi, the Trust helped to establish Vision Afrika Primary School. The school offers a unique and holistic approach to education, with literacy skills and blended learning at its core. With Stellenbosch-based Eduvate and US-based Team4Tech, the Trust assisted teachers at different schools to grow in 21st-century teaching skills.


In 2020, a strict and sustained lockdown to deal with Covid devastated many organisations and the economy in general. The GSDT acted as the administrator and a leading partner in Stellenbosch Unite, a collective of organisations supporting 5000 families and communities that lost their income overnight in lockdown. With StelCovid Action, the GSDT also launched temporary clinics and a communication platform to support the health structures.


In 2021 and 2022, the Trust helped rebuild many organisations and small businesses.


In 2023 the Trust assisted in the establishment of a clinic in Kayamandi.  The Trust also established the Citizen Connect project and created a thousand jobs as a strategic partner in the IDC Social Employment Fund.


Generous contributions by donors over the years have ensured the sustainability and stability of the GSDT. Furthermore, all the significant donors have shown extensive interest in the projects they fund.

German Sponsors

Fundraising by Rudi Neuland and Anna Will, and Drs. Iris and Wolf Siegmund sustained the Trust through a critical period in the first years. They founded a network of German sponsors to educate individual children in Kayamandi. Parents of beneficiary children, assisted by the Trust, later established Sakh’ Ikamva to coordinate the distribution of these funds.

Restis Family Trust

Claudia Restis and the Restis Family Trust contributed toward the 2010 renovation of the Trust Centre and supported after-school care and the Vision Afrika Primary School through the GSDT.

The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund

The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund contributed funds towards the 2010 renovation of the Trust Centre. The NLDTF also contributed in 2010, 2011 and 2012 towards the general running costs of Trust programmes.


Team4Tech, through Mark Friedman, Julie Clugage, Noel Durrant, Paul Campbell and others, funded a training laboratory and programme for 21st-century teaching. This initiative grew into Eduvate.

Finland-South Africa Association

The Finland-South Africa Association (FSAA) supported a programme for micro-entrepreneurs through the efforts of Tapani Brotherus, previously the Finnish ambassador in South Africa, and Arja Alho, the former Minister of Finance in Finland. This programme developed into SEED. www.seedstellenbosch.org.za

FIF & Forum Syd

Internationella Folkhogskolan (FIF) and Forum Syd provided funds and mentors (Therese Gadell, Johnny Andersson and Wilo Abdulle) to strengthen the GSDT as an organisation.

Local donors

Significant local donors include Dick and Adrian Enthoven and Yellowwoods Trust; Michiel le Roux and Millennium Trust; and Marie and Hannes van Zyl.

Past donors

Other past donors include Stef Bos; Jan Viviers; Dave Dalling; Vision Afrika Europa and Emma Berkhout; Studenten Initiative and Oliver Hansen; Cape Classic and Gabi Zahn; Monica Turck; Sue and Kerry Brookbanks; Amy van Niekerk; Stiftung Manager Ohne Grenzen and Kristina Rush; and Irene Glück. Wina du Plessis played a major role in establishing Vision Afrika Primary school.

2002 Renovation Donors

In 2002, the Trust Centre was renovated from the remains of the fire with contributions from Rudi Neuland and Anna Will; Drs Wolf and Iris Siegmund; the Boland District Municipality; Dennis Moss Partners; and others. Later, volunteer students from the Fachschule Kobelsdorff in Berlin added a classroom.

2010 Renovation Donors

In 2010, donors for the renovation included the Restis Family Trust; The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund; INCA Capacity Building Fund; donors coordinated by Drs Wolf and Iris Siegmund, Rudi Neuland and Anna Will; Marie and Hannes van Zyl; Prof. Hans Bode; Petra Krämer; Jan Klingler, Alan Todd and KR2 Architects; Hope & Warren Quantity Surveyors; and Moroff & Kühne Consulting Engineers.

2020 – 2022 Donors

From 2020 to 2022, during Covid, Emma Berkhout and Vision Afrika Europe, the Spier and the Mouton Foundation supported health initiatives and offered general support. Michelle Furphy and Nakkiran Sunassee supported the rebuilding of some enterprises and organisations affected by the pandemic.

In memoriam

Within a few months in 2020 and 2021, we lost four remarkable supporters of the Trust.

Dave Dalling, Mhlobo Jadezweni and Lourens du Plessis were previous chairpersons who moved away from Stellenbosch but continued to support the Trust directly and indirectly.

Brian Joorst, a talented attorney and valued trustee, died of Covid-19.