Company Details

Name : True North
Type : Not for Profit Company (NPC) 2003/020144/08
NPO number: 096 306
PBO number: 930 036 184
Date of establishment: 2007
View our latest annual report and audited financial statement here

Contact Details

Telephone number: +27(0)21 7026102
Email address: office@true-north.co.za
Website: www.true-north.co.za

Physical address:

Cnr of Berg Street and Vrygrond Avenue
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa

Postal address:

P.O Box 39281
Capricorn Square
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa

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Brief Overview

True North is a registered Non Profit Company founded in 2007, prompted by the desire to bring meaningful change to vulnerable and underprivileged communities in Africa through education, research and the sharing of technology.

True North is currently involved with in the Vrygrond /Overcome Heights community near Lavender Hill in Cape Town. During the process of data gathering, community interviews and the creation of the Community Explorer Map, the desperate need for early childhood development in the Vrygrond/Overcome Heights area became apparent. Within the confines of Vrygrond/Overcome Heights, only 5 % receive education in registered facilities, 25% in a home based unregistered facilities and 70% receives no pre-school education

The people behind True North

True North employs a passionate group of 12 permanent and contract staff members, as well as many volunteers.  The board consists of three directors.

Is True North a registered Non Profit Organization (NPO)


Is True North a registered Public Benefit Organization (PBO)


Is True North BEE compliant

Yes, True North has a BEE certificate as well as in terms of paragraph 3.2.2 of Code Series 700 of the Codes of Good Practice on Black Economic Empowerment (of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act of 2003) can confirm that at least 75% of the value of contributions directly benefits (by definition) black South African male and female people.

Do you provide Socio Economic Development (SED) and Enterprise Development (ED) points to corporate partnering organisations?


What does the True North ECD project do?

The True North Early Childhood Development initiative prepares vulnerable young children for a meaningful future.  We rebuild crèches; we equip caregivers (teachers and parents) and create a safe, nurturing environment that fosters learning and wholeness.

Who are the beneficiaries of the Vrygrond ECD Project?

31 preschools and their principals
117 staff (teachers, assistants, cooks)
1676 children (and their parents)

Why does True North focus on Early Childhood development (ECD)?

First and foremost, the True North team has a real heart towards children, the most vulnerable members of our society and their caregivers. Secondly, extensive research demonstrates the importance of the early years of a child’s life for optimal development, and that contributing to a person’s development during this period yields the highest return on investment.

What sets True North apart, or makes it unique?

Our initiatives are firmly founded upon the principle of  building trust and forming strong relationships within the community; to learn about the culture and responsibilities of all the role players; and to communicate processes and expectations.

It is also our passion to stay informed, knowing the plans of both local and national government.   Considering the immediate needs and strengths on ground level as well as the standards set out by the government for crèches.

From the outset, we have collaborated with other like minded NGOs thereby avoiding duplication and ensuring synergy with all role players.

How is True North funded and is it sustainable?

Yes, our funding model is one where donor funds, R15 per child per day, are used for a period to get the crèches complaint for registration as a formal place of care.  The government then has a subsidy of, R15 per child per day, available to these complaint crèches to ensure long term sustainability.

Our goal is to facilitate and empower people trough a transfer of skills, providing infrastructure and other critical aspects like healthcare, feeding, business training, active learning resources and interventions, educational training to teachers and principals and overall project support. Should you be interested in donating to True North please visit this page.

How does True North meet the need of both children at creche and those at home?

True North are developing a model that has both a centre and non-centre based approach to provide early education to children between the ages of 0-5.

The centre based approach aims to develop a new generation of school ready children by supporting crèches within vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, transforming them into professional and well managed registered facilities which provide a high standard of education, nutritious meals and other essential basic needs.

The non-centre based approach focuses on providing basic and practical ECD training to unemployed parents. This is necessary due to the high unemployment rate and consequent lack of funds available to parents to send their children to a crèche. In this way a higher percentage of pre-schoolers are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Briefly what practical successes have been achieved to date?

Please download our latest annual report here to better understand the scope of True North’s work