Contact us on +27 11 484 6245

About us

Our origins

We are an independent national literacy Non-Profit Organisation dedicated to improving literacy levels across the African continent. We promote mother tongue particularly African indigenous languages and work to improve the reading, writing, speaking as well as listening skills in disadvantaged communities. 

We promote early grade learning which includes Grade RR, Grade R and Grades 1 to 7. Our primary target are teachers, school management teams, parents and learners.

What we do

We provide professional development of teachers through training, coaching and mentoring. We also develop content to consolidate our interventions. We provide research and evidence-based programmes that demonstrate key components of early literacy.

Our specialties lie in the following disciplines:

  • African indigenous languages
  • English First Language
  • Materials development and
  • Research and development

Our vision

Towards a Literate Africa

Our mission

  • To provide professional development of teachers in a cost-effective manner, for improved learner attainment.
  • To address literacy and language challenges through research
  • To provide professional development for Molteno’s staff
  • To embrace the use of technology in all Molteno’s work

Our values

  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Transparency
  • Excellence

Experienced executives committed to our mission

Molteno Institute for Language and Literacies is led by an accomplished group of senior executives who represent a cross-section of our literacy and research fields and business operations. These leaders implement our business strategy and oversee operations for our national and regional enterprise.

Masennya Dikotla, Executive Director and CEO; Nelisiwe Zondi:  Executive Manager for Blended Learning;  Jenny Katz: Executive Manager for Research and Development; Mandla Tshabalala, Executive Manager for Early Childhood Development; Martha Moemi: Executive Manager for School Readiness Initiative; and Mantu Moabi: Executive Manager for Finance and Administration.

Corporate governance

Our governing structure comprises the board of directors and some senior executives.  
The members of the board are drawn from various sectors of the economy which include business and scientific communities, chartered accountants. It meets four times in a year to consider matters of strategic importance for the organisation.

Our board of directors formulates policy consistent with our mission to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice through reading. The board meets at least four times and consists of up to 12 directors.

Senior management team members led by the CEO are accountable to the board for specific aspects of corporate governance and financial management.

Commitment to quality

Since our founding in 1974, the Molteno Institute has commissioned independent evaluation of its program interventions to ensure objective appraisal of its programs. Recently we have introduced our own internal monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure internal quality assurance. All projects are preceded by baseline assessment, mid-line and end-line assessment to ensure object comparison at the end of each intervention.

Through our quality program, we work with clients to define their needs and clarify expectations. With this information, we deliver high-quality training, coaching, and mentoring of teachers in early literacy and mathematics. We also develop content that is freely licensed to enable access by the majority of learners and teachers.

At Molteno Institute, quality efforts are overseen by a Monitoring and Evaluation team comprising senior leaders from across our programs and backed up by a set of policies, procedures, and processes designed to ensure compliance. We recruit, develop, and retain highly qualified and motivated staff members, and support them with the infrastructure necessary for exceptional program and project management at all levels. In all cases, we work to ensure our services, products, and customer relations meet or exceed client expectations.

Highlights and achievements

UNESCO’s Confucius International Literacy Prize

In July 2014, Molteno was invited to apply for UNESCO’s Confucius International Literacy Prize under the theme Literacy and Sustainable Development. The prize recognizes the efforts of outstanding individuals and organisations from different sectors such as government and NGOs who provide literacy programmes to adults and out-of-school youth, particularly young women, in rural areas. In conjunction with our international partner, the International Literacy Institute affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, Molteno submitted a proposal on our Bridges to the Future Initiative (BFI) programme. From a total of 67 applicants, Molteno was announced as one of the winners and was invited to Bangladesh and China respectively to receive and celebrate the UNESCO Confucius Literacy Prize. The prize is sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education, and it includes monetary award as well as a certificate and Confucius’ statue.

Reading Association of Uganda (RAU)

Reading Association of Uganda (RAU) almost a decade since Molteno last worked outside South Africa, we were approached by the Chairperson of International Development in Africa to facilitate a workshop for 40 teachers on early grade literacy in Kampala, Uganda, as hosted by the Reading Association of Uganda (RAU) and as part of their 2014 annual book week festival. The workshop aimed at equipping teachers with classroom strategies for teaching literacy in an African UPE environment. One of Molteno’s senior trainers travelled to Kampala to conduct the workshop sans compensation in the spirit of sharing knowledge and good literacy practice. RAU, the teachers’ union and the teachers who benefited from the workshop provided assurance that Molteno would be their service provider of choice for future teacher development in Uganda.

South African Institute for Distance Education (Saide)

South African Institute for Distance Education (Saide) During 2014, Molteno collaborated with SAIDE to develop and produce ten new stories for young readers in isiZulu, Sepedi and Kiswahili. These stories are featured on the African Storybook Project website. It is hoped that some of these stories will be adapted for inclusion in Molteno’s future development of Vula Bula Grade 2 readers. Molteno also played a prominent role in facilitating a story development workshop at the European Union/African Storybook Symposium held in June 2014.

Office location

Headquartered in Parktown Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, Molteno Institute for Language and Literacies has one provincial office in Polokwane city, in Limpopo Province. The rest of other operations run remotely across the country.

Johannesburg offices:  
66 Oxford Road,  
Tel: +27 11 484 6245  

Our team