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The Dame Hilary Cropper Foundation, a UK registered charity, was established by Dame Hilary and her husband, Peter, in 2004.  They set up an endowment fund to benefit young, disadvantaged

South Africans, thanks to their love of the country and its people

Dame Hilary was a successful businesswoman, who, as head of one of the fastest-growing and most successful companies in the Information Technology sector in the 1990's, more than earned her impressive reputation.   As Chief Executive of Xansa plc, she led the company to a successful flotation on the London Stock Exchange and pioneered an innovative approach to outsourcing, including the first UK acquisition of an Indian technology company.

She served as a director of Barclays Bank and the Post Office and her accomplishments were recognised in the award of her Damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2004.  Sadly, she died shortly afterwards following a brave fight against cancer.



Established in 2004, the Foundation initially provided financial and strategic support to local organisations (NGO’s) throughout the country.  We have worked closely with a small number of like-minded partners and our support has helped to empower disadvantaged children, teenagers and young adults by providing care, shelter and education.  With a minimum of a three-year commitment, our financial contributions have been supplemented with practical support from the Trustees to help each organisation to achieve its goals to the greatest effect.

Through our strong relationships with NGO’s and many years experience of working with their beneficiaries in the South African context, the Trustees of the Foundation have gained a genuine insight into two of the key challenges faced by young people – the struggle to gain a worthwhile education and the barriers they face in accessing employment once they have completed their schooling.  As a result, the Trustees have fine-tuned their strategy and now direct their efforts towards youth development as a focal point for the Foundation's activities.

By narrowing its focus into the area of youth development, the Foundation gives talented young people a route to self-sufficiency by building the skills and attributes for them to access meaningful employment. Two years of research and development has led to the creation of an innovative and unique model for youth development, which addresses the issue of youth employability head on.

The Pinotage Youth Development Academy represents the first step in establishing a series of educational and training ventures, aimed at different industries. These will build the requisite technical skills, as well as the vital personal development, beliefs and values that employers demand, in order to create a solid basis for future business success. 


With our focus on improving the lives of young South Africans by giving them the means to be financially self-sufficient, our activities will help to launch talent for the future and make a real difference to those who need it most. 

By pledging time and resources to the expansion of our Youth Development programme, the Foundation is underpinning its commitment to young people in South Africa.  Quite simply, the Academies will transform lives, as well as those of families and communities, by giving young people access to meaningful employment and long-term sustainable futures, which would otherwise be completely beyond their reach.




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