Steinmüller Africa (SMA) has collaborated with Stellenbosch University in a socio-economic development project to support five secondary schools in Mpumalanga. The programme, and our collaboration, has been ongoing since its inception in 2021. Stellenbosch University, acting through its Technology Research Activity Centre (TRAC) has developed the programme to empower Grade 12 learners’ by enhancing their ability to master Physical Science and Mathematics. These two subjects are a gateway to a wide variety of tertiary studies and related bursaries. The collaboration’s focus is to promote the development of human capital and capacity in South Africa. SMA follows through by not only supporting our secondary schooling system with the programme but also offering opportunities and bursaries in various apprenticeships (Mechanical Fitting, Rigging, Welding and Boilermaking) as well as Mechanical Engineering degrees and National Accredited Technical Education Diploma (NATED) courses, respectively.
The partnership ensures that Grade 12 learners receive extra afternoon classes in the aforementioned subjects to improve their academic understanding and, ultimately, performance in their matric exams. This is done with the appointment of Physical Science and Mathematics facilitators. In this academic and business joint venture, SMA and TRAC seek to enable and inspire learners to take ownership for a successful future by assisting them to enter appropriate, fully funded higher education courses aligned with their academic potential and interests.
“TRAC believes that education is a fundamental tool for social and economic transformation as South Africa’s growth relies heavily on skills in the area of Mathematics. However, the pass rate in this subject remains a matter of grave concern. Through our collaboration with SMA, we aim to not only improve the quality of Mathematics education in the schools where we intervene but, ensure that our learners’ lives are indeed changed. We want to help build a better future for all, by opening up opportunities to the young people of this province and this country. TRAC is indeed instrumental in redressing inequalities of the past by offering opportunities to the most disadvantaged communities in South Africa and, thus, changing lives. We believe in the powerful statement by our late president Nelson Mandela that ‘Education is the MOST POWERFUL tool which you can use to change the world.’ Hence, our bold vision statement – ‘Eradicating Poverty’. Thank you, SMA, for making us an instrument to realise our dream of a South Africa where poverty no longer exists. Together, we are making dreams realities,” said Debbey Olivier, Director of TRAC South Africa at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Engineering.
“We are very excited and proud to contribute to the education and empowerment of local potential which opens the doors of opportunity to learners from local communities in our area of operations. This initiative is proving successful to our talent strategy by focusing on secondary education and developing academic competence in these fundamental subjects needed for technical tertiary studies and apprenticeships,” said Karin Kaempffer, Executive General Manager: Human Capital Management at Steinmüller Africa.
“We are in our second year of partnering with the university and our selection results and recruitment efforts are already bearing fruit. SMA would like to invite other potential industry partners to collaborate with us in this educational support project. Our focus on foundational technical competence is needed in combating skills shortages for our industry,” said Leon Botha, Talent and OD Manager at SMA.
Steinmüller Africa offers institutional training through its programmes to improve the knowledge, skills, employability, and lives of its candidates.
Signage board to the Faculty of Engineering