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 first part of this series we will take a look at the history of the Mandela School of Science & Technology.
In July 2010, Siemens in South Africa celebrated its 150 year anniversary. Peter Loescher, CEO of Siemens AG (here with Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water an Environmental Affairs and Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa, Executive Mayor of Tshwane), made a commitment to Nelson Mandela and his grandson, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela: He promised to support the building of a school in Mvezo. It is the fulfillment of Nelson Mandela’s dream of building a high school in the village of his birth.
The village of Mvezo lies on the banks of the Mbashe River in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The birthplace of former South African president and international statesman Nelson Mandela, Mvezo is renowned for its rich history, culture and heritage. It is also, however, a remote rural area where most citizens do not have regular access to water or electricity.
On July 18 2012, International Mandela Day, various volunteers from Siemens met the local community in Mvezo as part of the 76 minutes volunteering campaign.
The Mandela School of Science and Technology is a collaborative project between Siemens, the Mvezo Development Trust, the Department of Education, the Department of Science and Technology and the people of Mvezo. It is the first high school built in this village and will accommodate 700 learners.
Construction of the school started in October 2012. It has already benefitted the local community, who have been trained in building skills and employed on the project site. Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela says about the project: “This contribution by Siemens of the new Mandela School of Science and Technology is easily the most significant investment in education that this area has ever seen.”