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Full service IT support, open source software and school champions are among the many new groundbreaking features of Nampak's decade-old partner schools programme.
Africa's largest packaging company supports seven high schools close to its manufacturing facilities around South Africa, namely:
- Amogelang - Soshanguve, Gauteng
- Belhar - Belhar, Western Cape
- Lebohang - Boipatong, Gauteng
- Lethulwazi - Vosloorus, Gauteng
- Luhlaza - Khayelitsha, Western Cape
- Nkumbulo - Kwa-Thema, Gauteng
- Swelihle - Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal
Focused on the principles of true partnership, the schools programme involves funding for upgrading and equipping libraries, administrative infrastructure, science laboratories and security systems, as well as employing qualified librarians who are paid by Nampak. There are also opportunities for teachers to improve their qualifications and skills, while tertiary bursaries are provided to top learners in accounting, maths and science.
The allocation of funding is a consultative process that involves all key stakeholders; and in 2012, R2.5 million was invested accordingly. Fezekile Tshiqi, Nampak's Group HR Director and the Chairman of the CSI Committee, says that the ultimate goal is to give more learners the chance to pursue careers in packaging. "In this way, we're developing the Nampak leadership of the future and addressing the company's transformation imperatives."
Some of the learners from the Nampak partner schools programme who received bursaries before being placed on the company's graduate development programme and then employed are:
- Buhle Cele has a BCom degree in Economics & Statistics from the University of Cape Town and is employed by Nampak Management Services as a Treasury Analyst.
- Mokgadi Mpharalala has a BCom degree in Accounting from Monash University and is employed by Nampak Management Services as a Procurement Analyst.
- Lesego Motingwa has a BSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand and is employed by Nampak Corrugated in Wadeville as a Trainee Production Manager.
- Sipho Banda from Amogelang has a BSc Honours degree in Computational & Applied Mathematics from the University of and is employed by Nampak Flexibles in Pinetown as a Business Analyst.
- Thulani Tsotetsi has a National Higher Diploma in Marketing and is employed by Nampak Tissue in Bryanston as a Pricing Co-ordinator.
- James Mashao from Amogelang has a BSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand and is employed by the Nampak paper mill in Rosslyn as a Process Engineer.
- Sarah Modika from Lethulwazi has a National Higher Diploma in Chemical Engineering and is employed by Nampak Bevcan in Woodmead as a Divisional Quality Technologist.
While enabling this 360-degree cycle of hope and opportunity is fairly unique in the CSI space, Nampak has also added three new approaches.
Firstly, Luhlaza High School received new IT hardware and software with a difference! In many cases, corporate sponsors donate technology and walk away. However, Nampak has recognised the need for a more sustainable approach to the challenge. A specialist IT service provider (Black Apple, owned by Sydney Mokhethi and his partners) was engaged to install the hardware and software, provide training and set-up a service/support help desk, which is available during school hours. At the same time, conventional desktop PCs were replaced with state-of-the-art thin client devices, which are more energy-efficient and better suited to the functional needs of high school learners.
Secondly, the Cape Town-based high school received access to "Edubuntu," which is an open source software system that was developed by South African entrepreneur, Mark Shuttleworth. The system is like a virtual window to the world of learning, providing a single point of entry to the best educational resources available on the web. Teachers direct learners to content and monitor their progress. They can also access content for the purpose of class presentations.
Thirdly, every partner school has a Nampak employee as a champion. The role of the champions is to act as a direct liaison between the school and the CSI Committee, manage ongoing maintenance issues and provide support where necessary. "Already all go beyond the call of duty and give up their own time to support the schools. The willingness of our people to take responsibility and give back perpetuates the cycle of opportunity and entrenches the partner schools programme in the hearts and minds of everyone who's involved," says Tshiqi.
The Nampak school champions are:
- Arnold Khumalo ,Production Manager, Nampak Divfood - Lebohang High School
- Cabangile Sithole, HR Services Manager, Nampak Bevcan - Nkumbulo Secondary School
- Futhi Buthelezi, HR Director, Nampak Flexibles - Swelihle High School
- Michelle Kemper, HR Manager, Nampak Bevcan - Belhar High School
- Morongwa Themba, Scientific Services Manager, Nampak R & D, - Luhlaza High School
- Siya Xamlashe , HR Manager, Nampak Corrugated - Amogelang High School
- Thabile Ngidi , Finance manager, Nampak Glass - Lethulwazi Secondary School
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