About us


Founding and funding history

The Zenex Foundation was born out of the vision of its parent company Esso Oil, later known as Zenex Oil.

When Esso Oil disinvested from South Africa in 1987, it advanced a loan to a Trust with the provision that the Trust had to allocate 5% of its profits to support skills development and education in South Africa.

The Trust paid back the loan by 1994 and the assets of Zenex Oil were sold. The proceeds of the sale led to the creation of an endowment fund registered in Jersey, UK as the Zenex 1995 Trust. Interest generated from this investment helps fund the Zenex Foundation, which was established by the Trust in 1995 as an independent donor organisation focusing on education.

More specifically, the Foundation’s focus was on creating a mathematically and scientifically literate society in order to improve the quality of life in South Africa.

From it’s inception, the work of the Zenex Foundation has been closely aligned with the national imperatives of:

  • supporting previously disadvantaged learners;
  • providing the necessary resources for teaching Mathematics, Science and language; and
  • promoting the professional development of Mathematics, Science and Language teachers in line with the National Framework on teacher education.
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