Hyundai Automotive SA donates library to Southview High School in Lenasia
Learners at the Southview High School in Lenasia South have received a brand new library, which is sponsored by Hyundai Automotive South Africa as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.
The library initiative is one of several social responsibility activities undertaken by Hyundai Automotive SA, which includes participation in the entrepreneurship development programme of The Hope Factory.
The library at the Southview High School was opened by Ms. Barbara Creecy, MEC for Education in Gauteng, and Mr. J.H. Hwang, head of commercial vehicles at Hyundai Motor Company’s African & Middle East headquarters, at a colourful ceremony where the school’s choir and troupe of gumboot dancers entertained the guests.
The new library, fitted with new desks and chairs and populated with about 4 500 books as well as computers, is an initiative of Hyundai Automotive South Africa and the Imperial and Ukhamba Community Development Trust.
A delighted Mr. R.B. Naidoo, principal of Southview High School, said he could never in his wildest dreams imagine that their public request for assistance would culminate in the establishment of the new library, with about 4 500 books, in a period of only 6 weeks. “We trust that this library would stimulate a desire to learn with our children and would lead to an improved literacy level among our learners,” said Naidoo.
The Southview High School, situated in Lenasia, southwest of Johannesburg, has about 1 800 learners and was identified by Hyundai Automotive SA as a well-run, most suitable school to establish such a library.
Mr. Stanley Anderson, marketing director of Hyundai Automotive SA, said his company was proud to contribute to the education of learners at Southview High. “However, the establishment of this library is only part of the recipe for successful education. It is also important for you to have a vision, a goal that you want to achieve in life through your education at this school,” said Anderson to the enthusiastic grade 8 learners who attended the ceremony.
The library programme started after a lack of reading and comprehension skills was identified when the Trust adopted their first school in 2005 as part of an interventions strategy. This led to, inter alia, the provision of resources such as textbooks, stationary charts, and establishing fully resourced libraries with a wide range of books and audiovisual aids.
Ms. Creecy said she appreciates the very good working relationship that exists between the Imperial and Ukhamba Community Development Trust and the Department of Education, and that “this partnership with Imperial and Ukhamba Trust is the best private sector partnership that I have.”
According to Mrs. Charaine Ludick, a director of Hyundai Automotive SA and coordinator of corporate social responsibility projects at the company, the complete set-up cost of a library at a school is about R1,17 million. “That includes costs of renovating the infrastructure; buying furniture and equipment and books; and the covering and bar-coding of books,” says Ludick.
Additional costs, such as the salaries of two librarians, an annual license fee and overseeing the project, could add a further R270 000 per year to the running of such a centre.
Hyundai Automotive SA intends to identify five more schools where libraries can be established to continue and expand the project.
Apart from their involvement in education, Hyundai Automotive SA is also a participant in The Hope Factory’s entrepreneurial programme that addresses challenges encountered by entrepreneurs, such as access to markets, low cost rental space and infrastructure to help grow their businesses.
Aside from receiving extensive mentorship, guidance and network opportunities, entrepreneurs are assisted by The Hope Factory to enable them to run their businesses from the centre, using all the facilities provided.
Hyundai Automotive SA plans to continue to support this programme and to contribute about R2,6 million to the development of small businesses in South Africa.
“By investing in The Hope Factory you are assured, through our past track record and through consistent management and monitoring by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, that your investment will result in empowered, productive entrepreneurs,” says Annie McWalter, CEO of The Hope Factory.
She says The Hope Factory follows a two-pronged approach: To mentor and train potential black entrepreneurs to develop life and business skills, in order to create new businesses (Socio-Economic Development); and to equip black entrepreneurs with skills to grow their existing businesses (Enterprise Development).