As is well known, South Africa is facing a skills gap on many fronts with the trucking sector not being immune to the long term negative impacts of this. It is imperative therefore that the industry goes all out to attract youngsters into the industry and starts now to equip them with the right mind-sets and educational material to equip them with the required skills-sets.
To this end Daimler Trucks Southern Africa (DTSA) has actively committed to addressing the educational gaps in the country and earlier this year collectively donated R1-million towards the purchase of Grade 8 to 12 Mathematical, English and Accounting handbooks, study guides and educator manuals to two schools – Phelindaba Maths, Science, and ICT School of Specialisation in Pretoria and Ulwazi High school in East London.
This sponsorship forms part of the socio-economic development programme, BEE123 schools’ capacitation initiative that provides the highest quality, educational material to under resourced schools in South Africa.
Following up on this donation, the top ten Grade 12 learners of the Ulwazi High school in East London were last month given the opportunity to visit the DTSA assembly plant to experience the production of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Buses, and FUSO Trucks first hand.
The intention of this career day was not only to ignite the students’ passion for commercial vehicles and the DTSA brands, but also to have the opportunity to meet the DTSA plant management team and get more information about the career streams available at DTSA.
Ulwazi High School is a no-fee, public high school with 1 536 learners and has achieved a 100% matric pass rate for the past seven years. Apart from supporting and equipping students on an academic level, the school also focuses on being a body of knowledge to prepare students for all spheres of life.
Two days after the plant visit, top management from DTSA paid a visit to Ulwazi High School to reinforce this commitment and interact with the students.
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of education to drive South Africa forward. DTSA is enthusiastic about the youth of South Africa as the future generation leaders of this wonderful country and the opportunity to visit Ulwazi High school, experience the energy of the students and see the impact our sponsorship made in the daily lives of the students was truly humbling,” said Michael Dietz, President and Group-CEO, Daimler Truck Southern Africa.
Mihlali Makhalima, Principal of Ulwazi High School was highly appreciative of DTS’s efforts saying: “Ulwazi High School and the larger Ulwazi community are extremely thankful for this remarkable sponsorship by Daimler Truck Southern Africa. We will never forget the assistance DTSA offered to our learners and we promise to deliver only the best results in 2023.”
Hats off to Daimler Truck Southern Africa on this sterling support for the youth and best of luck to the learners and teachers with the final exams for 2023. In an era where it seems that ‘money power’ defines a person’s standing – via corruption channels – it is encouraging to see the effort being ploughed into the ingredient of true Power, namely “Knowledge.”