In an extended celebration of its global 150th anniversary in October, Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) made this a year of giving by donating over R2 million to fifteen charities benefiting individuals in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“Continental’s 150th anniversary was a momentous occasion for the company, celebrating 15 decades of innovation and excellence in the tyre industry, as well as in the broader automotive sector,” says Martin Buday, Managing Director of Continental Tyre South Africa.
“As one of the country’s leading tyre manufacturers with a local heritage spanning 74 years, Continental currently employs around 1 100 people in South Africa. We used the 150th anniversary to celebrate with our employees, and also to make a meaningful impact on the communities in which we operate,” he says. “Accordingly, we donated more than R2-million to 15 charities in Gqeberha to help those in need during these challenging times.”
Unity in Africa was the largest beneficiary, receiving R522 000 in support of its iGEMS (incubating Great Engineering MindS) programme, which is tackling the high levels of youth unemployment in the region.
This long-term education-to-employment initiative provides access to industry through site visits and tours, engineering-type workshops, as well as extra maths, science, computer literacy, and coding and programming lessons on a weekly basis to Grade 11 and 12 learners who wish to pursue an engineering career. It also provides world-class 21st-century skills leadership development training, addressing topics such as critical thinking, communication, resilience, trust, empathy and creative problem-solving.
“The objective of iGEMS is to incubate youth to eventually graduate with a tertiary engineering qualification that will enable them to obtain permanent employment with our member companies,” explains Berenice Rose, Director of Unity in Africa.
“Our first pilot intake of sixteen grade 11 pupils was in 2015, and we now recruit approximately twenty-five grade 11 learners annually to follow the four-phase programme. We are proud to report that 100 percent of our students have thus far successfully obtained bursaries or scholarships from industry and scholarship donors,” Berenice says.
Other charities to benefit from Continental’s financial support in 2021 included SOS Children's Village. Funding from CTSA is used towards the care and further studies of young people living in the SOS Children's Village.
CTSA also provided support to the Association for the Physically Disabled, Victory Kids, Helenvale Centre of Hope, and the Ubomi Obutsha Centre. It is a community-based non-profit organisation that helps to meet some of the material needs of poor families in the community.
Following the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July, CTSA partnered with some of its BestDrive dealers, colleagues and customers based in those areas to donate R100 000 to the Gift of the Givers Foundation.
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