In response to challenges they encountered in their educational journeys, Mukovhe Masutha, along with classmate Ntandokabawo James, founded Thusanani Foundation in order assist youth from marginalized communities across South Africa to access and succeed in post-schooling opportunities.

Thusanani Foundation does this through an integrated, flexible and holistic approach tailor-made to improve the Access, Retention and Completion rates and the overall experience of low income students at various institutions of higher education and training.

  • Rural/Township High School Academic Performance Improvement Programmes
    • Winter Revision and Tutoring Programmes
    • Career Guidance and Promotion of STEM
    • High School Retention Improvement Campaigns
    • Facilitation of Admission into Higher Education and Training
    • Promotion of Vocational and Artisan Skills
  • Rural/Township High School Infrastructure Support Programme
    • Computer and Science Labs
    • Community Libraries
    • School Refurbishments
  • Continuous-On-Campus Academic and Social Support Programmes
  • Industry-Based Mentorship and Professional Development
  • Entrepreneurship and Leadership Development
  • Higher Education Research and Development

“If the ladder of educational opportunity rises high at the doors of some youth and scarcely rises at the doors of others, while at the same time formal education is made a prerequisite to occupational and social advance, then education may become the means, not of eliminating race and class distinctions, but of deepening and solidifying them”.

– President Truman, in releasing a report of the President’s Commission on Higher Education, 1947

“It is our moral obligation” – Thusanani Foundation Volunteers

Mukovhe Morris Masutha

Dr Mukovhe Masutha is Director of the Centre for Emerging Researchers and Postdoctoral Fellow under the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Teaching and Learning (PSET) at the University of Johannesburg. Dr Masutha is also Chairperson of Thusanani Foundation, a Non-Profit Organisation that works with over 200 rural and township high schools to facilitate the access and success of rural and township youth in post schooling opportunities. Dr Masutha holds BA in Economic Geography and BSc Honours in Cities Planning and Development from the University of the Witwatersrand. He completed his Misters of Science in Local Economic Development and SMMEs from the University of Johannesburg, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Policy and Management from the University of Bath’s International Centre for Higher Education Management. He is currently an MA candidate in National Security and Intelligence Studies at Kings’ College London’s Department of War Studies. He has published peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles locally and internationally.

Mukovhe has positions as a Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand, Policy and Strategy Analyst at the City of Tshwane’s Division of Economic Intelligence and Manager for Research Strategy and Policy Analysis at the governing party’s Policy Unit.

Dr Masutha has served in the South African Presidency’s National Youth Working Group, the Task Team on the feasibility of a Basic Income Grant in South Africa and the Technical Task Team of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Higher Education Funding. He is a former President of the Student Representative Council and member of the Council for Readmissions Committee at the University of the Witwatersrand. He led a research team that developed a higher education student funding model aimed at bringing about a policy-based resolution to the higher education student funding crisis. The model was presented to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Higher education and the Inter-ministerial Committee on higher education funding, with some of its major recommendations making it to the official Higher Education Funding Policy Model adopted by the South African Government in 2017. Dr Masutha’s teaching and research interests include: Higher Education Funding Policy and Leadership, Social Reproduction in Education and Society, Critical Race Theory in Education, National Security and the Public Policy Making Cycle. He is most proud of having served as a member of the House Committee of Men’s Hall of Residence at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Dr Mpfareleni Rejoyce Gavhi

Rejoyce hails from Khalavha village in Limpopo Province, South Africa. She obtained
a BSc degree from the University of Venda in 2004; and Hons, Master and PhD degrees in Mathematics from the University of Stellenbosch in 2005-2012. In 2010, she received the Rectors Award for Succeeding Against the Odds at Stellenbosch University. She went on in 2012/2013 to pursue Postdoctoral research for a full academic year in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Alberta, Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at AIMS. Her research is on Subdivision; a branch of Computational Mathematics used in animation movie production. She promote mathematics in South Africa through participation in Science Slams, in which she could explain to school children and public the significance of mathematics in the real world as well as motivating tertiary, high school and primary school students during national science festivals.

She is the founder of MathAfrica a non-profit organisation that aims improve the qual
ity of Maths, Science and Technology Teaching and Learning in African disadvantaged and rural communities through learner support, teacher development and school support; and promote access and participation of women and girls in education and STEM careers ( She currently serves as an executive member of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SAWISE).She has been selected to participate on the 2014 TechWomen program, a five-week mentorship and exchange program in Sept/Oct 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley and Washington DC. She volunteered as a role model at the NRF-SAASTA Role Modelling workshops.

Ntandokabawo James

Ntando holds a BA in Environmental Urban Management, BSc Honours in Geography and an MSc in Development Planning from the University of the Witwatersrand. Ntando is also a prospective PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Other than volunteering at Thusanani Foundation, Ntando works as a Policy and Strategy Analyst at the City of Tshwane’s Division of Economic Intelligence

Mr Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu

Tshibvumo holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. Central to his core values is the creation of a platform that seeks to establish equal educational opportunity for all, particularly academically deserving but financially needy youth. He has been a volunteer of Thusanani Foundation since its inception and is currently one of the directors.

His passion extends to the development of sustainable Schooling infrastructure in rural schools across South Africa in order to create a learning environment that is both conducive and viable for learning.

Other than volunteering at Thusanani Foundation, Tshibvumo is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Lamo Solar, a renewable energy organization that provides renewable energy solutions to rural, underprivileged schools.

Thusanani Foundation