Ford, Gift of the Givers celebrate completion of renovations

Ford South Africa joined the Gift of the Givers Foundation in commemorating the completion of newly constructed classrooms and extensive renovations to existing infrastructure at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School, located in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

23 Ford Gift1

As a public secondary school, Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School is dedicated to the memory of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, honouring his courage and commitment to South Africa as a freedom fighter. He was a military hero in the country’s liberation movement and remains an iconic figure in Mamelodi to this day.

Ford South Africa recently provided a grant of more than R4-million to Gift of the Givers for the project to enhance the academic experience for both learners and teachers at the school. The funding facilitated the renovation of 36 classrooms and bathroom facilities, and much-needed upgrades to the plumbing and electrical systems, which had deteriorated over time.

Neale Hill, president of Ford Motor Company Africa and Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of Gift of the Givers.

Owing to its rapid growth, the school infrastructure had become insufficient for the 1 574 learners attending the school. To address this, four additional classrooms were constructed, with the new block dubbed the Ford wing.

“Over the years, our intake of children has increased tremendously and now far exceeds the number of learners the school was designed to accommodate, leading to an overcrowding crisis. Through the generosity of Ford and Gift of the Givers, we’ve been able to alleviate our space constraints, which will contribute to a much-improved educational experience,” says Mrs JT Zikhali, principal of Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School.

The unveiling of a plaque at the new wing of the school.

“We especially look forward to being able to make effective use of our laboratories for Physical Science and Life Science practical studies. Our labs and the library were previously used as classrooms to accommodate students,” she says.

Community empowerment was also a fundamental aspect of the project, with Gift of the Givers ensuring that contractors from the Mamelodi community were part of the construction and renovation project. “Through Ford’s grant, our foundation partnered with reputable contractors from the community to leverage on combined expertise for mutual benefit,” says Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of Gift of the Givers.

“Our CSR initiatives address social issues that are most pressing in the communities in which Ford operates. Education is one of our key pillars, as it’s an essential tool for economic empowerment and upliftment,” says Neale Hill, president of Ford Motor Company Africa.

More Industry News stories

End destination in sight for Nissan’s Daring Africa project

End destination in sight for Nissan’s Daring Africa project

Daring Africa 2024, Nissan’s overland adventure across eight countries with four Nissan Navara pick-ups and an X-Trail SUV, is preparing for the eighth and final leg of the odyssey, joining Nissan’s LCV manufacturing hub in South Africa and the company’s PV assembly plant in Egypt.

  • 16 July 2024