Imperial & Motus   Community Trust

We recognize that each child in South Africa is entitled to a good quality education to help them escape the bonds of poverty and despair.

Our primary aim is to assist selected schools in previously disadvantaged communities to provide a balanced and holistic education for learners - one that empowers them to reach their potential - academically and individually - while also nurturing their self-confidence and self-esteem.

The Imperial and Motus Community Trust was established in 2003 as The Imperial and Ukhamba Community Development Trust. It was the brainchild of the late Mr. Bill Lynch and Mr. Hafiz Mahomed, then the CEO and CFO of Imperial Holdings. Mr Mohamed remains involved as the current chairman of the Trust.

The initial mandate given to the Trust was to improve mathematics and science results of learners in township schools. We soon realised that learners were unable to read or understand the content of these subjects because they lacked the requisite skills; this led to a change in direction. The Trust now focuses on developing literacy and reading skills through a comprehensive literacy intervention programme aimed at all learners at its partner schools.

Most recently the Trust establishes state-of-the-art libraries with impressive speed; the lion's share of them in 'no-fee' schools south of Johannesburg. These cutting-edge centres support over 48 000 learners daily with formal reading lessons that include access to leisure reading and research, while providing educators with our customised store of teaching resources. These libraries are staffed by the Trust's employees - often newly matriculated youth from the communities we work in so that, in part, the Trust invests handsomely in youth development and job creation.


The Imperial and Motus Trust is a registered NPO and as such is not a funding organisation, but strives to obtain commitments and funding from corporates.

Its main asset comes from a share bequest made by Imperial Holdings to the Trust, when the BEE structure (Ukhamba) was established in 2003. The Trust holds these shares in Ukhamba Holdings and the shares pay dividends.

The main source of annual funding is received from contributions made by the Imperial Holdings group. To date Imperial Holdings, through its various business units, has been providing annual funding to top up the dividend earnings of the Trust.

In November 2018, Motus Corporation unbundled from Imperial Holdings. The unbundling created two companies, namely Imperial Logistics and Motus Corporation. Pledges for the continuation of the library project for the near future, is assured.


The Trust is managed by a team of business professionals; meetings are convened quarterly to ensure funding is spent on the objectives of the Trust. Standing agenda items discussed are:

  • New projects
  • Financial status
  • Checks on corporate governance and day-to-day management
  • Feedback from the Executive Manager on existing projects
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The staff complement of the Trust consists of two qualified teachers and two teacher trainees. The rest of the staff is sourced from the pool of unemployed youth living in areas close to the libraries.

Each library is staffed by one or two people, depending on the roll of the school. New libraries also have two staff members for the first year after handover. Once all the programmes are embedded into the school system, one assistant is removed.

To ensure that libraries are open every day, the Trust has a group of assistants, who replace staff who are absent.

All staff members receive in-service and professional training in:

  • Teaching reading to small groups
  • Phonics
  • First Aid
  • Microsoft Office
  • Money Matters
  • Personal Health
  • Motivational Training

Staff members opting to study towards a teaching degree are assisted financially once they have been in our employ for 24 months.

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