SKILLS FOR SOUTH AFRICA: GIBELA’S BURSAR PROGRAMME
Gibela is at the forefront of economic transformation, with a focus on empowering South Africa’s youth through education and skills.
In July 2017, Gibela hosted 96 of it’s university bursars at a bursar development programme – A week of learning, fun and motivation for the students.
Gibela’s bursars come from all parts of the country and were selected after going through a rigorous application process, which included an interview to ensure that the right candidates are given the opportunity to further their studies.
Through Gibela’s Economic Development strategy, which supports the socio-economic pillars of the government’s National Development Plan, the company is dedicated to empowering young South Africans.
The bursary and skills development programmes that form part of this strategy are achieving exactly this.
In addressing economic transformation, Gibela has made a commitment to provide skills and education to 19 500 South Africans. The company believes that, through education, South Africa can thrive, grow and realise the broader economic transformation it envisages.
Speaking in Magaliesburg at the development programme, Dr Buyiswa Mncono-Liwani, Economic Development Director, reiterated the importance of education and what it means to Gibela: “We all know about the importance of education in life. It provides us with better chances; it paves the path to success.
“As a company we have realised the critical need for South Africa to build, develop and retain knowledge that equips people to be successful in our rapidly changing world. Higher education, underpinned by science and innovation, is the way to generate this knowledge.”
In support of this, Sipho Sikhosana, Chief Operating Officer of shareholder, uBumbano Rail, added: “Education is the only way we can build a successful and sustainable country. To date, Gibela has spent more than R25 million on this particular programme to ensure that we educate young people. It is important for us as an organisation and as a country to ensure that young people are given opportunities to study.”
He continued: “The situation that our bursars are in is extremely privileged. We can only take a few people each year but there are many more sitting at home equally deserving yet who do not have the same opportunities.”
Sikhosana highlighted that is up to the individual to make something of themselves from the opportunity provided to them: “As Gibela, we can only provide a platform and create an enabling environment for you to succeed; each one of you must realise that you are your own liberators.”
In his concluding remarks he encouraged students to believe in themselves: “If someone has already done it, you can do it better. You just have to believe that you can.”
Speaking on behalf of the bursars, Masime Nyamande thanked Gibela for the opportunity: “I didn’t go to an expensive private school, nor was this handed to me without hard work. My love for engineering and passion for learning has got me to where I am today. Thank you, Gibela, for the opportunity you have given us. We promise that we will hold the Gibela flag high.”
Economic development is an integral driver of socio-economic transformation in South Africa. The successful execution of this aspect of the PRASA mandate is critical. Gibela has aligned its strategy with the country’s national development agenda, and work towards meeting the relevant objectives of the government’s 2030 National Development Plan (NDP).
Gibela will commit its resources, within reasonable means, to accomplish the goals set out in the Economic Development Policy. This policy is outlined in the Manufacturing and Supply Agreement with PRASA and is designed to meet the objectives of the government’s 2030 vision.
Gibela’s contribution to large-scale economic development and social progress through its greenfield infrastructure development programme and advanced rail technologies will be underpinned by the company’s Economic Development Policy.
Gibela will achieve its objectives through the employment of local job-seekers; the development of a robust supply chain local production; and the general enhancement of the living conditions of the people around its physical operations through community development initiatives focused on competency development and know-how transfer.
The X’Trapolis MEGA is a state-of-the-art train developed to accommodate South Africa’s 1.067m gauge rail tracks.
The train has been designed with safety in mind – it is compliant with all the latest international safety requirements – and also the need to provide a regular, reliable and on-time service for South Africa’s 2.3 million rail commuters, a number that is expected to double within the next 20 years as rail becomes the transport of choice for large sections of the population.