After hearing about ADESSA, SchoolAdvisor was interested in finding out more. ADESSA is a body representing educational suppliers in their dealings with government departments. They help with boosting e-learning in SA through collaboration with suppliers and the industry as a whole. Having recently employed Kobus van Wyk as their new CEO, we had a chat to him to find out more about this organisation.

Q1) Give us a little background first. What drives ADESSA?

ADESSA aims to:

  • Promote sound and ethical business practices
  • Ensure high quality and good value in products and services for education
  • Communicate effectively with government, fellow members, and educational institutions
  • Encourage and foster strategic partnerships

These are the original reasons why ADESSA was established at the request of the Department of Education (now the DBE).

The need to have a professional body that could represent companies that provide educational supplies to government and educational institutions (particularly those related to e-education) is apparent; the industry needs a “voice” and government (national and provincial education departments) needs a channel through which it can communicate with the industry. Government and schools also want to ensure that they do business with companies that are ethical and trustworthy. ADESSA fulfils that vetting role by ensuring only qualifying companies in this respect are granted membership. And then there is the opportunity to form strategic partnerships between members – this is often required when a company wishes to respond to a tender but does not have the ability to tick all the boxes.

Q2) When and how was it formed?

ADESSA was formed in 2003 by a small group of founding members, but its membership has grown significantly over the past 13 years to include hardware suppliers, content creators, book publishers, training organisations and those supplying related products and services.

Q3) What is your personal role at ADESSA and what value do you bring?

As the CEO of ADESSA, my job is to create links with government and education institutions and create channels of communication and opportunities for collaboration – both between education and the members and between members and other members. It is also my task to liaise with prospective members with a view of bringing them on board. I have a 36-year long history in technology, the last 16 years of which I’ve spent working in the e-education space. During this time, I’ve served on various commissions for the DBE, including Operation Phakisa during 2015; I’ve also developed close relationships with the different provincial education departments. I am now using all these contacts in order to establish ADESSA firmly as the voice of the e-education industry.

Q4) How can companies join?

Joining is a painless process.  A one-page application form must be completed; the ADESSA committee (consisting of 8 members elected by the member companies) assists in approving the application. After approval, the new member pays a joining fee (of R2 500) and that is it! There is a monthly membership fee of R395.  

[ADESSA is funded purely by membership fees].

Q5) Where is ADESSA going to be in 5 years?

ADESSA is positioning itself to be a strong voice of the e-education industry and to be a strong influence in the minds of the decision-makers of education. BESA in the UK (see has been fulfilling this role for many years, and we aim for ADESSA to do the same in South Africa. We will continue to strengthen the communication lines between the industry and education. I believe, as many others do, that government will never be able to make e-education a reality on its own – it needs the support of the industry. It is important to smooth the way for such close co-operation.

‘Good On Ya!’

We appreciate and encourage the work that ADESSA is doing to strengthen the connection between the industry and the education department. This will create a more seamless transition to e-education in South Africa. Find out more about ADESSA and the good work they are doing by visiting their website: