• Ford donates 240 engines to technical schools across South Africa.
• The engines are worth R7.8-million.
• The donation serves to enhance the technical skills of SA's youth.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Ford South Africa has partnered with the Department of Basic Education to enhance skills development and training of the country's youth.
The programme seeks to empower South Africa's youngsters and prepare them for a future in a technical-orientated career. To achieve this, Ford SA donated 240 locally assembled engines to technical high schools around the country. The engines are valued at R7.8-million.
Neale Hill, MD of Ford SA, says: "Ford Motor Company has been a leading player in the South African automotive industry for more than 96 years. It's an exceptionally proud legacy built on continued investment and innovation to build segment-defining products, empowering communities through creating job opportunities, and striving to improve the world around us for a brighter future."
South Africa is facing severe economic and socio-economic challenges, among which are youth unemployment. Hill says that addressing this issue, especially, is critical if we want to see the country move forward.
He notes: "Being a responsible corporate citizen means playing an active role in addressing the many challenges South Africans face. And arguably the biggest challenge we are dealing with currently is the high level of unemployment, particularly amongst our youth.
"To address this, we dedicate extensive resources, expertise and manpower to creating opportunities to educate and empower our future entrepreneurs, engineers, community leaders and business pioneers, with a specific focus on uplifting the previously disadvantaged members of our community, and women in particular."
The 240 locally built engines Ford is donating comprise the two new 2.0-litre diesel engines - both single and bi-turbo units - as well as Ford's proven 2.2- and 3.2-litre turbocharged diesel engines.
Hill says: "This will allow learners to understand and appreciate the inner workings of modern engines and will help ignite greater interest in the field of automotive manufacturing and technology. We trust it will also lead to an even greater focus on the diverse range of engineering disciplines to address the shortage of these essential skills in South Africa."
The minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, expressed her thanks to Ford SA, saying that financial constraints are making it difficult for the Department to empower the youth wholly. The donation by Ford, though, will address several of the shortcomings and challenges in South Africa's education system.
Motshekga said: "The Department of Basic Education is delighted to receive the 240 engines from Ford to support the skills revolution in our country. The engines we are receiving today will power the future and unleash our learners' new potential in ways unimaginable before.
"I am glad that Ford has joined our efforts to take us forward, and I am certain that this initiative will contribute to growing our learners' skills at the school level and beyond."
Ford's engine assembly plant in Struandale, Port Elizabeth (QuickPic)
Compiled by: Charlen Raymond