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Mandela School of Science & Technology – Photo Story 3: Skills Development

In this photo series, we want to familiarize you with the Mandela School of Science & Technology. In the process of being built, the project is one of South Africa’s most ambitious corporate social responsibility projects as well as one of Siemens’ biggest social investments to date. The Mandela School of Science & Technology is located in Mvezo, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela. It embodies Mandela’s belief that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

On a regular basis, we will provide you with pictures depicting different topics of the project. In the second part of this series we will take a look at Skills Development of the Mvezo community for the Mandela School of Science & Technology.

Skills development is one of the primary focus areas for the economic wellbeing of any country. The current skills shortage in South Africa makes the Mandela School of Science & Technology project both timely and necessary. Therefore, the Skills Development Programme in Mvezo partnered with the South African-German Chamber’s Builders Training Centre in Soweto.

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Community members are arriving at construction site. The primary objective of the project is to provide much needed education to the children of Mvezo. Other objectives are to empower SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises) in the Eastern Cape through local Preferential Procurement and to provide the community with a unique opportunity to build the school which their children will go to.

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During the duration of the project, 150 community members will be employed on site. They will receive valuable building skills training that can be used long after the school has been completed. The community members are being multi-skilled in short skills like bricklaying, plastering, carpentry and plumbing. Here, a community member is cutting bricks.

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The Skills Development Programme also provides a unique opportunity for women. During the intensive construction period in February and March, ten percent of the people empowered on site were women. Since April, the number of women employed on site has increased.

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Lunchtime for the workers in Mvezo: with the building project itself having created a number of jobs for the local community already, the ongoing management and maintenance of the school will also be a catalyst for job creation. The programme will also empower students with much needed technical skills.

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