GrandWest Bets on a Winner with Khanya
Twelve schools in the Western Cape are to be the recipients of GrandWest’s generous investment of R1 million in a partnership with Khanya, the WCED’s award winning project. The twelve schools, along with guests from the Western Cape Education Department and the Khanya Project, were invited to the official launch of the GrandWest CSI Khanya Project on 8 August 2006 in The Market Hall at the GrandWest Casino.
Grand West is committed to the social upliftment of the disadvantaged members of the community and through GrandWest Corporate Social Investment (CSI) they have played a significant role in supporting and developing various social initiatives over the last 5 years. This latest project reflects GrandWest CSI’s belief in the vital importance of education and its links with technology.
In his speech at the launch of this partnership, John Fraser, Chairman of GrandWest CSI, stressed the pivotal role of education in the success of South Africa. He said that the CSI committee was committed to sharing success and that they valued partnerships and long term relationships like the one with the WCED and its Khanya Project.
This latest project is not GrandWest CSI’s first investment in education. In 2004 they assisted the Tygerberg Hospital School and, through the Khanya Project, they assisted with the establishment of 4 computer laboratories at schools in the Western Cape. Together with the WCED, they also developed the “Soundtrack for Life” Lifeskills programme.
Superintendent-General of Education for the Western Cape, Mr Ronald Swartz, expressed his gratitude to GrandWest for their investment in the human capital of this province. He stated that the incorporation of companies was a vital part of the WCED’s strategy to improve education. Mr Swartz explained that the WCED’s Education Foundation’s whole aim was to encourage companies to get involved in education through partnership with the WCED.
The importance of ongoing partnerships to improving and redressing past inequalities was reiterated by Mr Cameron Dugmore, MEC for Education in the Western Cape. Mr Dugmore assured GrandWest CSI that the resources made available to these twelve schools through their investment would be put to good use. He pointed out that for a partnership to be successful, it needs to be mutually beneficial and he believes that GrandWest CSI will be glad that they have become involved in this project and this partnership with Khanya.
Mr Kobus van Wyk, Programme Manager of the Khanya Project, accepted the cheque from GrandWest CSI. He welcomed GrandWest CSI as a partner and he explained how the money would be used to the benefit of the schools as well as the communities that they serve.
The money received from GrandWest CSI will not provide the schools with computers, instead it has been earmarked for the building of the infrastructure requirements for computer laboratories. Schools in the Khanya Project progress through a number of stages and they have to meet quite stringent infrastructure requirements, guided by Khanya, before technology is supplied. It is here that the money from GrandWest CSI will make a difference. This difference will also be felt in the community who will benefit directly as the skills found in the community will be used to complete the necessary infrastructure.
The evening, a celebration of the burgeoning partnership between GrandWest CSI and the WCED’s Khanya Project, was a stylish event that acknowledged the fine work of both partners and hinted at the great things that can be achieved in this country when public and private organisations work together.