Dr Chris van der Merwe, CEO and Founder, Curro Holdings

Curro Holdings is proud to announce that it secured third place at The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies awards ceremony. The awards celebrate JSE-listed companies that offered the best performance for shareholders over the past five years.

Since Curro’s official JSE-listing in 2011, the company has been building its education brand one learner at a time. It started with Dr Chris van der Merwe, CEO and Founder, Curro completing a doctoral study which identified indicators of excellence in schools.

Believing one can create independent schools in South Africa based on these indicators, the first Curro school was established in 1998 in Durbanville with a modest 300 learners enrolled.

Some 18 years later, Curro manages 110 schools on 47 school campuses, providing education to approximately 41,900 learners.

The company is on track to deliver 80 campuses to accommodate 90,000 learners by 2020. The initial promise of 40 campuses severely underestimated the demand for affordable private education in South Africa.

“For every independent school which is brought into existence, the government saves between R120m and R200m on infrastructure, and thereafter about R20m to R40m per year in running expenses,” states Dr Van der Merwe.

Even though The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies award looks specifically at the importance of Curro Holdings to investors, Dr Van der Merwe believes that one can never underestimate the role that schools play in the lives of learners, or indeed the country.

“We sincerely hope that the kind of citizen we deliver to the workforce will contribute to help South Africa achieve an economic growth rate of 6% per annum in future,” he concludes.