In March 1990 a small-scale war took place to the west of Pietermaritzburg. It became known as the Seven Day War.  The origins of this conflict are complex, but political unrest led to a confrontation between UDF and Inkatha supporters, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 200 people and the displacement of over 20,000 people.  As suddenly as it had started, it was over, leaving a trail of destruction. Children were without schools, and almost 20 000 found themselves refugees, making for the safety of the tented camps set up in an area known as Foxhill.

Meanwhile, three men, Piet Dreyer, Brian Andrews and Ernest Zikali; pastors separated by racial divide but united in a common vision to serve the poorest of the poor,  responded to the dire physical needs, according to Matthew 25 v35-36: 

I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me. 

Mobilising other local churches,  a feeding scheme was launched, and a clothing distribution centre. And so, informally, Project Gateway was born.  Gradually more and more churches came on board, and the formal constitution was signed in 1992. As more projects were added, a base was needed, and in October 1992 Project Gateway moved into the old prison.

Since then, countless people have been cared for, educated and empowered, and as we approach our 30th anniversary, we are still helping the poorest of the poor in and around Pietermaritzburg.  

The vision of Project Gateway is to see local churches caring for the poor in the areas of Care, Education, and Empowerment, and to provide a model and resource base for the city of Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding communities.  Project Gateway also aims to be self sustaining as far as possible and therefore, a number of profit making ventures are in place. These include tours of The Old Prison in which we are based, the sale of crafts made by local people, the hiring out of conference venues on site and our popular Volunteers and Teams programme. We also have a charitable trust operating on our behalf, based in the UK (PCF Gateway Trust).

Our mission is to:

  • Change people's lives by
  • Helping them physically, emotionally and spiritually. We aim to
  • Uplift people and their communities through job, business and life skills,
  • Reaching all people without prejudice, showing the
  • Compassion and care of Jesus Christ, and
  • Honouring our Creator

Project Gateway is overseen by an Executive Board consisting of individuals from a cross section of co-working churches as well as others with expertise in strategic areas. As an organisation, we are committed to the empowerment of people both within the organisation and those we serve. This commitment is evident in the composition of our Board, who are expected to give oversight, visionary input, prayer and leadership to the organisation as a whole as well as to the specific projects.

The Executive Board (pictured above) is assisted by a central management hub, known as CORE (Central Operational Resource and Executive) Services, consisting of administration, finance, human resources, donor marketing and public relations. In this way CORE's vision is to see a cohesive, multi-church, Kingdom based organisation using Biblical principles to improve people's quality of life by ensuring that all Project Gateway programmes adhere to the vision of the organisation and to see the implementation of Executive Board decisions in these programmes.

If you would like to know more about what we do, please see our website: www.projectgateway.co.za or our FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectGatewayKZN