Dr Tersia King
TKLA was founded by Dr Tersia King in 1991 as the Self-help Community School, which was later re-named in her honour. This remarkable woman can rightfully be described as our own Iron Lady. Residing in Kempton Park since 1959, she impacted her community through various interesting projects.
She is not only remembered for her role as Town Councillor and later Member of Parliament, but also for her dedicated work in community projects in Kempton Park and Tembisa, of which the independent school in Hospital View is a significant symbol of her dedication of many years.
She established the East Rand Protective Workplace to accommodate mentally retarded adults and founded the Oos-Rand Akademie, an Afrikaans independent school, in 1996. A skills development centre at Kopanong was her first contribution of practical solutions in Tembisa, which later led to the establishment of TKLA. Most of the first buildings on the current terrain were built by men trained in various building trades.
Dr King was one of the first three women in Parliament from the National Party, and she had an influence in policy changes in South Africa as a member of the NP negotiating team at Codesa.
She will especially be remembered for her contribution to education. A committed scholar, obtaining six post-graduate qualifications between 1978 and 1989, she was awarded the Doctor Educationis by Unisa and an MBA by NWU. A problem-solver at heart, she focused her research on finding alternative models to fund quality education, of which the TKLA was her practical proof of research findings and remains so today.
It was in her DNA to make a difference in her community and help other human beings, and she was especially talented at encouraging stakeholders to take ownership in the establishment of all her projects. A feisty advocate for the rights of Tembisa children to receive quality education, she not only visualised the solution, but innovated and led the team passionately and fearlessly for almost 25 years.
Dr Tersia King was born in Graaf-Reinett on 20 October 1940 and passed away in Cape Town on 4 December 2016 at the age of 76.