The history of MOT South Africa

The initiator of MOT South Africa is Mr. Jannie Isaacs who, in 2006, was the principal of College of Cape Town. Mr. Isaacs learnt about MOT from another principal, Mr. Odd Henning Johannessen at Haugaland upper secondary school in Haugesund, Norway. College of Cape Town and the school in Norway were running a teacher exchange programme. Odd Henning told Jannie about the impact of MOT in his school and Jannie was inspired to try out MOT in his college.

In 2008, MOT SA was founded as an independent organisation and South Africa became the first country outside of Norway that entered into a partnership with MOT. Prof. Eltie Links was appointed as chairperson. He became of vital importance for MOT SA’s existence and the quality of MOT SA. In

2008, Wanda Möller was appointed as CEO. In 2018, Julia Duminy was appointed as new CEO and Andiswa Makha as Core Activities manager.

Research report MOT South Africa 2012 and 2015

The FET Institute, University of the Western Cape, evaluated "The MOT life skills programme" for MOT South Africa in 2012 and 2015. The evaluation from 2012 followed students (17–30 years old) over the course of three years. The report from 2015 followed students from 10 different campuses over the course of three years.

Areas of key strength of the MOT programme (93-97%):
  • try to see the good in other students
  • treat other students with respect even if they are different from me
  • help other students if I am able to
  • have the courage to be myself and to accept myself
  • always do my best no matter how hard the task is
  • believe that I will do well in the future
  • listen to other people’s opinions
  • MOT has made me want to be a better student
  • MOT has helped me to think about the choices I make

Both evaluations show the same – a near 50% reduction in the number of students using drugs, over the course of three years.

Comments from youth

  • MOT changed my life. I am behaving better. I realise that I've learned something from MOT about achieving goals and that motivated me to try again.
  • The most important thing during MOT was me getting to know myself better.
  • MOT helped me to believe more in myself, picked me up and gave me courage to live. Ever since it came into my life I've never stopped dreaming.
  • I am thankful that MOT came into my life. I now have the courage to live my life having learnt from mistakes and keep my head held high.
  • By coming to MOT sessions, I see that I can reach each and every goal I set and make the good out of it.
  • MOT has taught me to believe in myself even if no one else does. My views about life changed from negative to positive and I have to thank MOT for it!!!
  • I didn’t know anymore what I wanted to be in life. But then MOT came in and everything changed in me. I told myself that I want to start my own business one day and MOT told me that if you just believe in yourself, then you can!
  • MOT has made me want to be an even better person to help those that need help in no matter what their need. It has also showed me that it is better to help others so they too can see that life is good and it does not come from drug abuse.
  • The 3 years with MOT was the big experience of my life. The key word for us was “respect” and that we should respect one another. We changed after we started with MOT. We used to be the challenging class and more of us were expelled. We ended up with something different; with a new life and a new page. When we wrote exams all of us passed. And the reason for that was that each and everyone had a MOT pen and we looked at that pen and told ourselves that we have the courage, we can do it.
  • Dear MOT, I am a 20 year old man. I feel like I am very grateful to be a part of your programme. From the past couple of years I didn't know where I was going, I was taking things lightly, but now that I attend your sessions I know how to set up my goals, I have a dream to follow, I am more confident about myself. I can now encourage other people to follow their dreams. I am motivated, I am more responsible for myself, I care about people, I can motivate and encourage people.
  • MOT has helped me a lot because I know now that other people are also as important as I am and helping other people is very good.
  • MOT has taught me confidence and to always pursue my dreams. Thanks to MOT I know that I am different but it’s what makes me unique.
  • I was smoking when I joined College and the MOT sessions, but I quit everything that same year because I realised that I am more than that. There’s more in me than a human eye can see.
  • I would like to say thank you for MOT, it really made me think further in life about what I want to be in the future. MOT really helped me in so many ways and I look forward to my future.
  • MOT has helped me accept myself the way I am.
  • MOT is one of the best motivational programmes that helps students to feel free about showing their feelings in the classroom.
  • MOT has helped me with lots of things such as listening to others' opinions. I thank MOT very much. They made me be a better person.
  • MOT helped a lot of people to realize their strengths and improve on their weaknesses.
  • MOT sessions helped me a lot. I am more confident to say no to the wrong things and I tend to care a lot about others. I know my priorities and I gained much more self-esteem.
  • I look at my life differently since MOT has started.
  • MOT lifted my spirit, boosted my confidence, made me aim high in life for myself, and made me feel like a different person in a good way. Whereby it made me believe I have a purpose in life, and it made me more focused and follow my goals. I would like to say keep up the good work you guys are doing across the globe you are changing lives.