Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Nedbank South African Charity Golf Day.

Hosted at Burhill Golf Club in Surrey, the annual event has raised in excess of £3 million for distribution to charities across South Africa to date, making it the largest of its kind in Europe. 

Although this is the 25th official South African Charity Golf Day, the event dates back 28 years, when Geoff Johnson organised relatively small golf days for South Africans in 1995, 1996 and 1997. 

In 1997, former South African cricket and rugby captains Clive Rice and Francois Pienaar suggested that this become an annual charity event. In 1998, the first official SA Charity Golf Day was born, and the South Africans in Need Trust (SAINT) was established. 

When former President Mr FW de Klerk first attended with his wife Elita in 2001, a partnership was born through which the event would come to support the charitable work of the FW de Klerk Foundation and its beneficiaries.

In 2003, Mr De Klerk was invited to become Patron of the event, and it continues to support the Foundation in its contributions to charities that care for disadvantaged children, particularly those with disabilities. 

Over the years, the FW de Klerk Foundation has focused on building relationships with a select group of worthy organisations in the Western Cape, whose work impacts not only the lives of their direct beneficiaries, but also their families and communities. 

The generous support of the Nedbank South African Charity Golf Day allows the Foundation to support The Cape Town Society for the Blind; Iris House Children’s Hospice; The National Institute for the Deaf; and Salesian Life Choices.

The Cape Town Society for the Blind was founded in 1929 by a group of women from Cape Town who identified the need to provide training and employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired individuals within a secure and supportive environment. Today, they remain steadfast in their aim of uplifting these people through education, access to assistive resources, and career development programmes in an honest, ethical, and caring environment.

Iris House Children’s Hospice aims to provide holistic, professional, and free community and hospice-based respite care, as well as end-of-life care for special needs children and young adults with life-threatening and/or life-limiting conditions in the Western Cape. They extend their holistic therapies and support to the families of special needs children, and endeavour to train all involved in their care to the highest standards of improving their quality of life. 

Established in 1881, The National Institute for the Deaf has been dedicated to the wellbeing of the deaf community for well over a century. They are passionate about ensuring that the deaf are afforded the same opportunities in life as anyone else. They do this by providing professional guidance, work partnerships, rehabilitation, spiritual and social development, as well as offering ongoing support to help them confidently reach their full potential. Their holistic approach has helped them to change thousands of lives over the many years for which they have been operational. 

Better known as Life Choices, Salesian Life Choices is a Cape Town-based youth development organisation focused on investing in youth from the Cape Flats communities. Since 2005, they have impacted over 200 000 people through ‘choices, not charity’. The services they provide are based on the five building blocks that they believe to help young people to thrive: family stability, health, education, leadership, and employment. All their efforts are aimed at connecting with youth in a way that promotes their dignity, and supports and facilitates healthy choices for themselves, their communities, and the planet.

The FW de Klerk Foundation is honoured to be the longest-supported charity of the Golf Day, and in good company with their other beneficiaries – the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA), MASICORP, and Books2Africa.    

As in the words of Mr De Klerk at the 2019 event:

“Every year the Nedbank South African Golf Day provides South Africans living in the UK – and friends of South Africa – with an opportunity to participate in one of Europe’s great charity golf days. At the same time, they are making a really valuable contribution to organisations that work throughout the year to make life better for some of South Africa’s most disadvantaged people. Every time they play a shot they might be helping to care for orphans; or to improve the maths and English skills of disadvantaged kids; or to empower communities out of poverty; or to provide grassroots support to the many other really effective programmes that the Golf Day supports.”

The Foundation wishes everyone participating in today’s Golf Day a memorable event, and expresses its ongoing gratitude for the immense support of the initiative. 

Find out more about how you can get involved in the ongoing charitable efforts of the FW de Klerk Foundation.