Kobus Visagie

General Manager

Kobus started his professional career as a teacher at an Agricultural High School and soon afterwards joined Boskop Training Centre, a skills training centre for farm workers, as Vice-principal. He subsequently worked as Project Leader at the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Senior Manager at Gencor (later BHP Billiton), Executive Chairperson of the Gencor Development Trust and CEO of the Zenex Foundation, before he joined Stellenbosch University as Senior Director: Corporate Affairs in 1996. Since 2005 he operated as management consultant and project manager in Social Development and Triple Bottom-line compliance, Human Resource Management and Strategic Planning and managed several multi-disciplinary projects on behalf of clients. He joined the Louis Group in 2008 as Strategist in the Strategic Initiatives division and was inter alia tasked with the planning and development of a new, private university. He has been appointed the first CEO of Cornerstone Institute, the newly established institution resulting from this initiative and assumed office in January 2010. He was appointed General Manager of the Waitrose Foundation in October 2013.

Kobus holds the degrees BSc (Agric) (University of Stellenbosch), B Com (Economics and Industrial Psychology) and B Com Honours (Industrial Psychology) (University of South Africa) and M Com Strategic Management) (cum laude) (University of Johannesburg), as well as a post-graduate Diploma in Higher Education and a Certificate in Transformation Leadership (University of Stellenbosch).

Petro Vermeulen
Manager of Finance and Administration

Petro grew up on a farm in the Eastern Free State and achieved her B.Compt Accounting Science degree through UNISA. With more than 10 years of experience in Accounting and Financial Management in various industries, Petro was appointed as Manager of Finance and Administration to The Waitrose Foundation.

Petro believes in integrity, respect and discipline and has a heart for people.



Eleanor Louw

Educational Facilitator

Eleanor Louw is a dedicated, resourceful and goal-driven professional educator with a solid commitment to the social and academic growth and development of every child. Her experience in the field of education has taught her to be a highly motivated and dedicated educator, who wants all children to be successful. She believes that it is not always enough, you need an aptitude to adapt to all circumstances.

Her career path started in 1983 at Cinda Park Primary and after six years’ experience she moved to the position of Head of Department and a few years later she became a Principal of this Cinda Park Primary School. In 2007, she started at Nasou Via Afrika assisting in aligning content of textbooks to the National Curriculum. Again, drawn by my plight to work with children, she joined CAMI Education were her role was to train educators to effectively use ICT in the classroom in order to improve numeracy levels of primary school learners. After the project ended in 2011 she filled the position as a Numeracy development and enhancement coordinator at Maths Centre Incorporating Sciences. The key theme of this position was to correct, restore and enhance the teaching and learning of Mathematics.

The core elements of the job were to develop an understanding of all dimensions of why children fail and how to support them and their teachers. In April 2014 Eleanor joined The Waitrose Foundation team as an Educational Facilitator. She says that “ The Waitrose Foundation gave her an opportunity to be part of a new generation of families living on farms that will be able to realise and develop their own potential and to define and pursue a desirable future”. 


Hilda Links
Field Manager

Hilda was born in Keimoes in the Northern Cape and holds a BA degree in Social Work, studying at the University of the Western Cape. Her career in Community Development started 20 years ago with the Namaqualand Resource and Education Centre (Namrec) working as a Resource and Information Coordinator / Field Worker. In 1997 moved into her professional career as a Social Worker for the Department of Social Development in Springbok.

In 2000 Hilda joined a non-governmental organisation, Dopstop Association, as Field Worker, working with farm workers and for the Department of Transport and Public Works in the Expanded Public Works Directorate in Skills Development. This involved the coordination and implementation National Youth Services Skills Programme in the Western Cape. Hilda became an Assistant Manager for the National Youth Service Infrastructure Programme in 2010. She has full membership of the SA Council for Social Service Profession (SACSSP) as a registered Social Worker.


Raymond Engelbrecht
Field Manager

Raymond was born in Cape Town and holds a BA degree in Psychology and English, attained at the University of the Western Cape. After completing his degree, he worked at Old Mutual in the capacities of Welfare and HR Officers. Raymond then embarked on a career in community development which included youth development programmes across the Western Cape, in partnership with community based organisations. Years later he worked with a network of schools in the southern suburbs of Cape Town and initiated/managed job creation-, music- as well as pre- and afterschool projects. These projects were aimed at strengthening school-community partnerships.

He worked in partnership with the Education Department before being employed by an NGO, The Extra Mural Education Project. During his 7 years with this organisation he was involved with training programmes for teachers and leadership support programmes in school districts across the Western Cape before joining the Waitrose Foundation in 2011.


Thabo Tyholweni
Management Assistant

Thabo who is originally from Johannesburg joined the Waitrose Foundation in 2015 as an Intern after completing his theoretical training as Management Assistant at Boland College.  He provides administrative and IT support to the Waitrose staff. Thabo also coordinates development activities in a growing Youth Network that consists of Foundation Bursary Recipients and youth on member farms. The youth network is currently involved with activities such as forming partnership between corporates sector and the youth on farm, running Soccer Coaching clinics on farms and education excursion for children and youth on farm

It is his passion for football lead him to start Soccer Coaching Clinics in which the coaching focuses on technical and life skills lessons. Thabo is valued for his positive attitude, professionalism, loyalty and resourcefulness.