The Western Cape identified the unacceptably low literacy levels in their schools as a cause for major concern, since the literacy levels in South African schools are among the lowest globally. This resulted in the birth of Growsmart, an annual inter-school literacy competition aimed at changing awareness and learning behaviour in the school community and tangibly benefiting previously disadvantaged schools and learners.

  • In order to effectively run the competition, Growthpoint engages various stakeholders.
  • The winning school receives an iSchool Africa iPad Learning Lab to the value of R 250 000.
  • In February 2014, a new element was added to Growsmart which takes the literacy initiative one step further – that of a story writing competition.
  • Ongoing Monitoring and evaluation take place, both during the competition and in the form of long-term intervention at the winning school.

Tags: Case Study Literacy Growthpoint Properties

Read more: Corporate Practice: Growing learners and enhancing primary education in the Western Cape...

The Volkswagen Community Trust’s Literacy Programme was launched in 2015. To establish what would be required by such a programme, Volkswagen consulted with key non-profit organisations (NPO) in the sector, universities and academics, the Department of Basic Education, parents, teachers, school governing bodies and the community at large.


Using the results and recommendations indicated in the study, Volkswagen has designed and implemented a comprehensive literacy intervention in five Uitenhage primary schools. The goal of the project is to ensure that learners are functionally literate by the time they reach age 10, or grade 3.


In order to be effective, any literacy project must include a spectrum of interventions aimed at addressing the broader environment in which these children grow up and they learn to read. Volkswagen has therefore partnered with three organisations that focus on different aspects of literacy and learning: Shine Literacy, Edupeg and Nal’ibali National Literacy.

Volkswagen’s annual Literacy Conference further drives the company’s belief in the importance of literacy and primary school education.

Tags: Case Study Literacy VW Community Trust

Read more: Corporate Practice: Driving functional literacy in primary schools (VW Community Trust)