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Ford South Africa has expanded its commitment to education by donating 10 locally produced Ford Ranger pickups and 42 engines to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges across South Africa. This initiative will equip colleges with latest-generation vehicles and engines, valued at over R4.6-million, to empower students with crucial skills and technical training in the automotive sphere.

TVET colleges provide vocational, occupational and artisan education and training courses developed around a specific range of jobs, employment or entrepreneurial possibilities. With the automotive industry recognised as one of South Africa’s largest employers, contributing approximately 6.4 percent to the country’s GDP*, it has an important role to play in upskilling people to help sustain and further develop the industry and the economy.

“Education and skills development are the foundation for creating employment opportunities and economic upliftment for our youth and broader communities,” says Neale Hill, MD of Ford South Africa. “We signalled our commitment to education last year with the donation of 240 engines to technical high schools across the country, and we are now taking the next step to expand our support for technical training at the tertiary level.

“This initiative will provide TVET colleges with our locally produced Ford Ranger pickups, which are assembled at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria for domestic sales and exports, along with engines manufactured at the Struandale Engine Plant in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth),” Hill says. “It will give students the necessary practical training on modern vehicles and engines to better equip them for future careers in the automotive sector.”

Ford, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, CSI, CSR, ESG, youth empowerment, education, TVET, skills development

The 10 Ford Rangers are all 2021 models with a combined value of almost R3.4-million, and will benefit 10 selected TVET colleges around the country. The 42 engines, which are 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi units, are valued at R1.26-million. A total of 14 colleges will each receive three units.

“We truly appreciate the donation of the Ranger and engines from Ford. We feel proud and honoured by this gesture from the company which is contributing to our college in its mandate of skills development,” says Motlalepula Tsotetsi, acting principal of Maluti TVET College in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State, near the Lesotho border.

“As a rural college, such injections are assets which have long-lasting impact on the teaching and learning resources,” Tsotetsi adds. “The donation will allow students to get valuable hands-on experience with the vehicle and the engines, which will develop and harness their skills in future careers in the motor trade industry. It also eases the funding pressures on college budgets in the acquisition of the relevant and up-to-date resources, helping to promote the education and training of post-school students in trades.”

Rhazia Hamza, Deputy CEO of West Coast College, adds: “West Coast College is honoured to be part of this project and very blessed to have received this donation from Ford Motor Company. Having a Ford Ranger and engines in our facility will enable a very practical and hands-on teaching and learning experience. This will place our students in the driving seat in the motor and mechanical engineering fields, and support the ever-growing need for skilled employees in the automotive sector.”

* Source: NAAMSA