In partnership with local business, the American business community in South Africa wanted to make a positive contribution to advancement through better education. The decision to build a commercial high school in Soweto was made and the foundation stone of the then Pace Commercial College was laid on the 23rd July, 1981. The buildings were completed by June 1982 when Pace welcomed its first students.
During 1984, the growing social turmoil in South Africa based on resistance to Government legislation spread to schools and Pace was no exception. Students involved themselves in the expression of deep-rotted grievances and Pace too became an area of protest and ultimately closed in November 1986.
Concerned parents and individuals from the Soweto community knew that in reality, liberation and education were inextricably linked and not mutually exclusive. Pace had to embark on a new beginning based on a community consensus initiative. They could lead the rest of South Africa by showing how a school can be managed in a spirit of community consensus and partnership.
In accordance with the original mission, the school was handed over to the community. Pace reopened its doors in January 1987 and had to win the confidence of the business community whose financial support it no longer enjoyed. The appointment of Mr. Wilkie Kambule as Principal in 1988 heralded the new beginning.
Wilkie Kambule was a well-respected and qualified educationalist, supported by a committed community school-board and a competent staff. The school has a magnificent physical facility and this stands in tribute to those companies that were the original donors. What is now needed is financial assistance to educate the young people at the school.
Restraint and responsibility are evident at the school and the challenge of educating and equipping the young men and women of Pace to form a meaningful part of a non-racial democratic South Africa is in progress.