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President Cyril Ramaphosa and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were welcomed by BMW Group Boardmembers Ilka Horstmeier and Milan Nedeljković to meet the engineers of the future at BMW Group Plant Rosslyn in Tshwane on Thursday. Chancellor Merkel is in the country on a state visit focussed on education programmes, and took the opportunity to meet beneficiaries of BMW’s multiple education and training programmes at Plant Rosslyn.

During the visit to the plant, their Excellencies were able to visit the Bodyshop, which was in recent years expanded to as part of a R6.1bn investment into the plant. In the Bodyshop they were able to meet Ditshego Sebothoma and Tiisetso Mafolo, who have come through the BMW Graduate Programme and who are currently working in the Bodyshop.

Training and education at the heart of BMW Group SA’s commitment to South Africa.

Moving on to the BMW Group Training Academy, Chancellor Merkel and President Ramaphosa met with trainees who are learning skills critical to the motor industry.

Dr Milan Nedeljković, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production, said that “for us it’s about more than just producing vehicles for sheer driving pleasure. It’s about being an integral part of society and improving the livelihood of our employees, their families and their surrounding communities.”

Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG,

Human Resources, said that “Education is the motor that drives our society and prepares the economy for the future – in South Africa and worldwide.”

Tim Abbott, CEO: BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa said the company was honoured to host the guests.

“It’s great to get recognition of the work we do in education and training at this level. It’s been wonderful to see their sincere interest in the work we’re doing at BMW to drive education, especially in the STEM subjects, which will benefit the industry as a whole,” Mr Abbott said.

“More than 2000 people have gone from training at BMW to a job at BMW Group Plant Rosslyn, so what we’re doing really works,” Mr Abbott concluded.

The BMW Group is committed to improving education worldwide.

To mark the United Nations International Day of Education on 24 January 2020, the BMW Group announced that it will support one million children and young people worldwide through targeted educational projects and programmes by 2025.

The company has therefore been developing impactful educational projects worldwide for many years to give young people a leg-up into the labour market and offer them better prospects in life. The BMW Group already reaches around 400,000 children through projects at its German and international locations.