Romele spans two separate entities:
Romele Publications CC: The publisher of magazines and manager of websites
Romele Skills Foundation NPC: Supporting school-going youth in the area where we operate
Romele Publications CC
Romele Publications is an 80% black-owned publishing company, owned by Sybil Otterstrom (80%) and Ivan Otterstrom (20%).
Romele is the publisher of ‘Hola MaHigh-School’, distributing 90,000 copies to all high schools country-wide at no cost to the schools. The potential readership is 2,5 million high-school students. Hola MaHigh-School is also published on the Romele website in a digital format just like the print-edition.
Hola MaCampus is a fully digital magazine, also published on the Romele website. The target market is the approximately 1 million university students and the approximately 500,000 college students.
As we will conduct discussions and comments on the website, there will be so much more for young people than just the magazines.
Social media is a fact of life. Facebook and Twitter are channels heavily used by young people. Our website is therefore fully integrated with these channels, driving traffic towards the website.
Our magazines adhere to our core values:
• 50% written by students. It is important for us to enable students to utilise their capabilities, promoting integrated learning.
• Employ youth, giving them a first job and thereby giving them workplace exposure and experience.
The official Romele website is www.romele.co.za.
Romele Skills Foundation NPC
The objectives of Romele Skills Foundation NPC are to support the grade 10-12 students, university and college students across South Africa via the following interventions:
• Bursaries for needy students to support their purchases of stationary and other necessary items
• To support needy students with registration fees for tertiary educations, especially for FET colleges
• To provide needy students with uniform items (shoes, socks, pants, etc.). This intervention will initially be focused on the community in which we operate, e.g. Troyeville, Bez Valley and Bertrams in inner-city Johannesburg
• When additional offices are opened in the other provinces/cities, community intervention will be extended to such communities.
As it is imperative for these objectives to be met, the foundation will ensure that the publication “Hola MaHigh-School” is published, as this publication provides the out-reach to the students.
Without Hola MaHigh-School, it is not possible to reach the students in any structured way.
Romele Skills Foundation NPC will derive income from donations and from surplus money generated by Hola MaHigh-School.
Additional information on Romele Skills Foundation can be found on www.romele.co.za
Romele Publications was founded in 2006 as an initiative to provide South Africa with a film and music magazine. It became clear among the (at that time) three owners that such a task was huge and not feasible when all three had full-time jobs.
Sybil and Ivan Otterstrom (two of the three original owners) decided to realise their dream of supporting high-school students via a dedicated magazine. For practical reasons, Romele was then used as the vehicle rather than forming a new company.
The intent was (and still is) to provide real information for real people. Such information would be of the type that would not necessarily be available in a class-room setting (e.g. bursary opportunities, how to get a study loan, open-day, etc.).
The carrying element is advertising. Romele Publications is run as a commercial enterprise.
The launch issue was published in April/May 2011.
Hola MaCampus was launched as a part of the website insofar as Hola MaCampus is digital only.
The website was specified in late 2014 and was developed during December 2014/January 2015.