Paarl Gim set to land a top-top rugby man as new headmaster

Confirmed. Northwood headmaster Paul Viljoen will start as the new Paarl Gim rector on 01 January 2024.


Still speculation at this stage but the new headmaster of Paarl Gymnasium looks likely to come from a school North of the Umgeni River in Durban.

If its confirmed, it will be a massive blow for his current school who will no doubt find him extremely difficult to replace as he has placed a massive role in driving the school in the right direction, rugby being no exception.

It will great for Gim. They will be getting a headmaster who loves his rugby to bits.

Paarl Boys’ incumbent Derek Swart is 62 going on 63, so he will be forced to retire in 2025, as state school heads cannot work beyond 65.

Boland Landbou in Paardeberg outside Paarl appointed Kobus Hartman in 2020. He has about 13 years to go.

At the other Winelands big gun Paul Roos appointed Andre van Staden in 2017. Based on his years of teaching experience dating back to 1984, he must also be about 60 or older by now.

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  1. avatar
    #32 Skywalker

    @Grasshopper (Comment #29)
    It is unfortunate. The wheel does turn and right now not in its favour. DHS managed to turn things around in a big way – in rugby and hockey. But yes it takes money to get the right talent in asap and to house those boys.

    10 November, 2023 at 08:58
  2. avatar
    #31 Grizzly

    @Smallies (Comment #30)
    Stem!My starting 8 vir die prof era 1 Os 2 Bismark 3 Bands 4 Eben 5 Victor 6 Ruben 7 PSDT 8 Dwayne.

    6 November, 2023 at 12:05
  3. avatar
    #30 Smallies

    @Grizzly (Comment #28)
    Ek dink hy het vir Andre Venter en Juan Smith verby gesteek en is nou die beste 7 flank in die profesionele era wat ons nog gehad het

    4 November, 2023 at 11:31
  4. avatar
    #29 Grasshopper

    Just returned from 8 days in Durban, drove past Glenwood and Northwood. The Glenwood area is like being in the middle of Lagos, barbed wire, fencing and guards everywhere. Not a great area for the school, perhaps they are the ones that move to Ballito, instead of the touted DHS move. Musgrave area ain’t any better. I’ve noticed a rapid improvement in Northwood sport, recruiting the best coaches (incl some old Glenwood coaches). DHS pillaged our sports staff about 5 years ago, around 12 going across the road. I really do feel for my alumni, a good head now, but no funds. Also, best players being poached by the private schools. I know of one going this week. It’s probably the last time Glenwood will be competitive in sport. I’m sure many of the haters will be happy now….

    31 October, 2023 at 18:27
  5. avatar
    #28 Grizzly

    Kan iemand my asb antwood,hoe goed is PSDT!!!

    28 October, 2023 at 23:19
  6. avatar
    #27 beet

    @KatzRugga (Comment #26)
    KZN can host a Aussie NRL like State of Origin. KZN born players vs Border born players :mrgreen: Mind you the Midlands schools and Glenwood in recent times have had a good few boys from the Highveld in their ranks.

    I lived and worked in Kokstad for a while. I fear the new bridge might amount to bad economic news for the folks of that town.

    It would be good if it could improve interschool ties between KZN and Border but I don’t think the Border schools should want much to do with KZN schools the way things are going. If anything the bridge and shorter distance will amount to good news for scouts and the KZN schools who can save on travel costs as part of the bursary/scholarship add-ons for kids from the EC.

    23 October, 2023 at 14:08
  7. avatar
    #26 KatzRugga


    I couldn’t agree more on all accounts. Well written.
    Maybe with the building of a bridge in progress between KZN and EC we will see a Coastal North/South in time to come…
    23 October, 2023 at 06:29
  8. avatar
    #25 beet


    @KatzRugga (Comment #24)
    My opinion is that KZN is already so reliant on school players from outside the province to help boost the standard of rugby, that adding more schools to the tier-1 mix will just dilute the standard or encourage a greater level of poaching in order for the KZN schools to remain competitive nationally. In the entire Bok squad only one player, Jesse Kriel is a true homegrown product. Another player Jaden Hendrikse learned to play rugby in the Border region before moving to high school in KZN. Historically KZN homegrowns represent a very small piece of the national pie. So to answer you, no I can’t see a benefit from more top schools but maybe a relocation of one of the Durban state schools to Ballito might help :mrgreen:

    I don’t know much about tier-2. I went to a school rugby AGM once and a lower tier coach mentioned their struggles with forming teams in the face of age-bands and front row regulations and how they may have to play Sevens instead of 15-man rugby.

    So I’ve seen George Campbell and Port Natal try very hard to remain competitive. I’ve seem Voortrekker in PMB try very hard to be as good as they can. I’ve been through a season when Sarel Cilliers of Glencoe have had an excellent team. None have been able to sustain the effort and I think a lot of it boils down to finances. To get competitive and stay there requires a substantial budget.

    Pionier from Vryheid were consistent and produced 1st XVs that were easily tier-1 level but have seen a dip in standard since Covid but they still represent a good option if someone was willing to put serious money into their programme.
    Hillcrest although a Co-ed are in a good expanding area. A different headmaster with more rugby ambition might help. Kearsney are in the area and have now expanded to about 140 boys per grade. This makes KC quite big for a private. Soon they might have 200 more boys than Hilton. I think the location coupled with day-boy schooling indicates Hillcrest is a favourable spot. There is also a Curro in Hillcrest with really nice facilities but not easy to attract talent with KC on the doorstep.
    North Coast/Ballito is a rapidly expanding part of KZN which will never have a state school the size of a former model C school but where one based there now would thrive. So it will probably be up to one of those commercial independent schools to make it happen. The only one I can think of is Ashton College. But again for a new private to compete against the Big 3 is so difficult.
    Zululand has always been a catchment area for the Big 3 privates and even the state boarding schools. I’m not sure Richards Bay or Empangeni can step up as a result of this.
    Port Shepstone same. Nice distance from Durban to succeed but would need a major investment and probably an even bigger change in high school rugby culture. I know of a primary school there called Suid-Natal that performed well, so there is a fair amount of talent about.

    22 October, 2023 at 16:06
  9. avatar
    #24 KatzRugga


    KZN could benefit from a handful more competitive high schools. In Your opinion does any tier 2 schools have the potential to go tier 1 gradually over the next 5 years or so? Or half/half if such a thing exist?
    Name 5 tier 2 schools that might just give a game in a good year?
    22 October, 2023 at 07:04
  10. avatar
    #23 beet


    @Grizzly (Comment #21)
    So around 2010 government tried to improve birth registrations which means that if they have had success, we should be seeing boys entering high school next year who were registered at birth and the elimination to an extent of boys who are actually older then their registered age due to late and incorrect registration.
    But age cheating was really down to those who sort to be corrupt. So they will probably continue to try commit fraud in order to achieve a financial gain.
    The biggest part of the problem are the people who run the rugby systems. Wherever the win at all costs culture dominates in high schools, they will turn a blind eye to the obvious. Since financial gain is at the heart of the motivation to create over-aged players for the school rugby market, it only if/when those schools who have the financial means create openings for these players. And I’m sure a good few times the officials that facilitate the deals, do so with the knowledge or suspicion that they are recruiting over-aged players. However with these officials’ KPI and related packages/contract extensions being linked to results on the field coupled with the pressures that come about from parents/old boys/overzealous headmasters when there is perceived underachievement and the overcompetitive nature of some, the ethical standard drops and bending the rules to win is accepted.
    21 October, 2023 at 11:08
  11. avatar
    #22 beet


    @KatzRugga (Comment #20)
    I think College are also in a position to benefit from a bit of continuity in the coaching department. Head coach has been a changed so often in the past. At least now Orch is having an unbroken run. Hendre Marnitz is also adding a lot of value as DoR ever since he arrived from Garsies.

    Kearsney definitely had good times during the last decade and the last few years have been a bit dull by those standards. I think a couple of things worked against them.
    Hilton moved into their space WRT to DPHS recruitment for gr8. Kearsney seemed to be able to get the best players from Prep at one stage.
    Kearsney started aiming at 100% varsity pass in matric while the state schools couldn’t manage 100% matric pass. The difference in this academic standard between the two is quite big now and growing. This limited their flexibility with regards to rugby recruitment. For example Sandile Kubeka was an SAS player who featured prominently as a key player for KC for three seasons incl his u16 year. In the last few years players of his game changing ability would have been overlooked due to academic ability. The knock-on effect is not only is KC rugby then weaker for it but the local opponent who picks up a player with that talent is a lot better.
    Finances – I suspect that same sort of money needed to succeed, wasn’t at KC’s disposal to acquire top players out of primary school.
    KZN in general upped the standard. Hilton wasn’t the only school that turned their programme around. DHS actually made bigger steps in the right direction during the past few years. Northwood improved a lot as well. Both DHS and NW added depth in terms of the number of teams they can field on a Saturday. College took the role of DoR a lot more seriously. Clifton went from being a tier-2 school to a fully fledged tier-1 opponent and still display potential to get better.
    In terms of X-factor players, Kearsney really suffered in this department in recent years. It seemed to be the forte of KC legendary coach Barend Steyn to get the maximum out of star players but now while other KZN schools have those sorts of flashy players from gr.8 or are able to recruit them for 1st XV, KC had grafters and talented boys but haven’t had go-to players who can turn a game on its head with bits of magic. Good examples of this in 2023 are Deano Boesak, Luyanda Kunene and Speedy Ramaloko.

    21 October, 2023 at 10:46
  12. avatar
    #21 Grizzly

    @beet (Comment #18) My only question is who will be the best player in Natal SBR in age brakcet 20-25 in ’24

    20 October, 2023 at 08:49
  13. avatar
    #20 KatzRugga

    I too rate College for the year ahead and it looks like that they will be playing a couple of classical powerhouses outside KZN. Kearsney’s year could be interesting to follow. Kearsney used to be a top 3 team in KZN. Year on Year this is fast becoming history. Coming out of Covid it’s more a case of avoiding a loss to Clifton and St. Charles. The new DoR has his work cut out with some real pressure I would say. Exciting times ahead for KZN.

    19 October, 2023 at 12:52
  14. avatar
    #19 beet

    KZN TOP 10

    Here’s a table using the rankings from the website: NEXTGENXV

    I weighted the years 75% for 2022 and 25% for 2023

    SCHOOL u16 2022 Rank 2023 rank Weighting
    DHS 7 15 91.00
    Maritzburg College 13 14 86.75
    Michaelhouse 21 24 78.25
    Northwood 23 20 77.75
    Hilton 33 10 72.75
    Kearsney 12 77 71.75
    Westville 43 11 65.00
    Glenwood 44 37 57.75
    St Charles 77 0 42.25
    Clifton 92 96 7.00
    18 October, 2023 at 22:56
  15. avatar
    #18 beet

    KZN TOP 10

    @Skywalker (Comment #17)@KatzRugga (Comment #16)
    Without knowing who all the new faces in KZN will be, I would tend to agree with Skywalker that DHS are the preseason favourites.
    I’m not going to give Hilton the benefit of the doubt and say that in spite of having a very good u16 group this year, 2024 will see them dip a bit.
    Northwood have put in some serious hard yards to prepare their team for 2024, so I would say that their propects look good.
    Michaelhouse will be decent again but will have to answer a few questions up front, mainly in their backrow.
    The College tight-5 will surely be one of the best in the country if they stay fit and continue to improve. Superstar fullback Luyanda Kunene is back again so they will have X there. Like House a few unanswered questions but perhaps a bet for top 3.
    Kearsney will be hoping to turn some of those close defeats of 2023 into wins in 2024. Head coach Neil v Heerden was a rookie last year and I’m sure he’s gained a ton of experience in the role and he has lots of passion. Plus KC will have a new DoR on board by then so will be hoping for an immediate impact.
    Westville like Hilton have a good group of u16s and perhaps they are the unknown factor in the province. The last couple of seasons seem to have gotten off to very promising starts and then the consistency went off-track, so perhaps this is the area of attention to detail for the coaching staff – how to keep the team motivated so they can finish the season strongly.
    This might be Glenwood’s most difficult season in a while. But perhaps they have secured some funds to improve their chances, as its highly unlikely that any of the other KZN schools will begin the season without an import or two.
    Clifton – not sure. They have a boarding house in the process of being built so maybe not their year in 2024 but certainly a space to watch for the years to come.
    St Charles is a bit of worry now. Word from a knowledgeable insider is they have some decent players on board including the incumbent Sharks CW scrumhalf Matt Fick but their fixture list for 2024 might be a bit of a concern and to make life a little more difficult head coach Jose dos Santos is rejoining Glenwood as Director of Sport.
    18 October, 2023 at 22:50
  16. avatar
    #17 Skywalker

    A huge loss for Northwood. He did an incredible job over the 6 years. The school is in a great space however and I hear there are some good candidates in the running to replace him, so will be holding thumbs. Big shoes to fill.
    From a rugby point of view, I hope they continue the good work. Overall the rugby programme is probably the most competitive it has been across all the age groups. Some great talent and good coaches so hope that continues.

    My guess for KZN rankings for 2024 would be:
    1. DHS
    2. Hilton
    3. Maritzburg College
    4. Michaelhouse
    5. Northwood
    6. Westville
    7. Kearsney
    8. Glenwood
    9. Clifton?
    10. St Charles (as it stands are not plaing most of the KZN schools above so not sure…)

    18 October, 2023 at 08:41
  17. avatar
    #16 KatzRugga

    Great recognition of his work at Northwood. Good luck!
    I wonder if this could have a knock on effect for the KZN tier 1 rugby schools as to who will excel and who might disappoint in 2024.
    Dare anyone guess?
    How will the 10 KZN schools be ranked at end of 2024. Whats Your guess?

    17 October, 2023 at 16:17
  18. avatar
    #15 kantako

    @Grasshopper: yep. I know the feeling, well not on the apartment size in Asia, bit much better lifestyle and extra money and can take my kids to safe fun places every afternoon

    30 May, 2023 at 11:24
  19. avatar
    #14 Grasshopper

    @kantako: Yep, well Hertfordshire. Most Saffas think England is London. I have a 4 bed house, about an acre of land, granny flat cottage now converted to a bar/entertainment area plus spare room, horses and cows in the fields nearby and braai with Kameeldoringhout every week, it’s lekker…..far more than what I had in Joburg for R18,000 a month (barely a garden)

    30 May, 2023 at 10:06
  20. avatar
    #13 kantako

    @Grasshopper: are you living in London

    30 May, 2023 at 09:57
  21. avatar
    #12 kantako

    @Grasshopper: you are spot on.
    SA has just become so expensive when getting paid in Rand.

    30 May, 2023 at 09:47
  22. avatar
    #11 Grasshopper

    @Smallies: My monthly costs in August 2016 when we left SA again;
    Item Rand
    Bond/Rent 18,000
    Levy 300
    Loan 1,500
    Bank Service Fee 236
    Momentum 249
    Electricity 1,000
    Phones 1,400
    DSTV 759
    Gym 250
    Petrol Em 300
    Petrol Al 1,000
    Home Insurance 300
    Life Insurance & Pension 1,623
    Car Insurance (Both Cars) 1,657
    Groceries 6,000
    Saving 500
    Car 2 2,256
    Car Payment 6,112
    School fees 3,470
    Swimming Cost kids 450
    Maid 700
    Total 48,062

    30 May, 2023 at 09:10
  23. avatar
    #10 Grasshopper

    @Smallies: which can barely get you by, in 2015 my monthly outgoings were R48,000 a month, so a bar after tax is about R58,000, leaving only R2,500 a week for other things (like a braai). That standard outgoing must be much higher now. I mean food alone is like R12,000 a month for a family of 4. I honestly don’t know how people survive with insurance, medical aid, cars, rent/bond etc……it’s just nuts….

    30 May, 2023 at 09:02
  24. avatar
    #9 Smallies

    @Grasshopper: level 11 to 12 in my Dept is about 850 to 950k add to that car allowance,housing,expense acc and your looking at about 1 mil a year

    30 May, 2023 at 08:44
  25. avatar
    #8 Grasshopper

    I reckon heads are not even on a million a year, teaching in SA is so badly paid. Maybe I’m wrong. The Heads of Rugby probably get more eg Brad Mcleod-Henderson who was rumoured to be on 2bar. I do the head at the other school in Berea wanted the role at SACS, didn’t get it, so settled on the Berea job. If it is Northwood, the building blocks are in place, they just need to find continuation of that, somewhat passionate and involved. Hoping the new Glenwood Head can make his mark in the coming 5 years…

    30 May, 2023 at 08:30
  26. avatar
    #7 Kaya 85

    @beet: that example of 50% funding of payroll probably refers to more teachers being employed in stead of top ups…e.g. Gov Dept of Ed funds 1 teacher for every 40 pupils…SGB then employs more teachers to keep.class sizes down

    29 May, 2023 at 18:38
  27. avatar
    #6 Smallies

    @beet: A school master of a big State school school will probably be on a level 11 or 12 goverment salary scale ,they are very well paid individuals who have to produce the goods, if not then you get the situation that happened at Grey a while back….

    29 May, 2023 at 13:32
  28. avatar
    #5 beet

    @Kaya 85: yeah so the last time I checked a few years back, a very prominent state school was funding over 50% of the staff payroll itself. Its the only way to get quality teachers and support staff because on the government funding alone, there is no ways a lot of senior staff would stay. Hence the reference to the former Model C schools as semi-private.

    The SGB essentially appoints the headmaster but the DoE vets and authorising it, I think. I will get the right terminology for the roles.

    So yes the headmaster will get a top up on his state funded salary. So I assume that moving to Gim offers better pay but possibly also a better lifestyle in Paarl and perhaps more opportunity to set achievable goals such as generating income for the school in a larger richer community.

    There might be other personal benefits or considerations

    29 May, 2023 at 12:13
  29. avatar
    #4 Kaya 85

    @Skywalker: @Grasshopper: If this is a Provincial Dept of Ed appointment, wouldn’t the package essentially be the same…i.e. a principal at a large school with x years experience…How is it a ‘promotion’? unless the person wanted to relocate…is a SGB allowed to ‘top up’ the principal’s salary?

    29 May, 2023 at 11:59
  30. avatar
    #3 Skywalker

    @Grasshopper: I fear you are correct…

    29 May, 2023 at 11:34
  31. avatar
    #2 Grasshopper

    Northwood head

    29 May, 2023 at 07:23
  32. avatar
    #1 Kaya 85

    Sounds like it could be Swys Joubert…

    28 May, 2023 at 23:04

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