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Anglo American Platinum sends learners to celebrate Madiba in London  

The centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela provides a unique opportunity for people around the world to reflect on his life and times and to promote his legacy. As we approach the Father of the South African nation’s birthday on the 18 July, Anglo American Platinum is proud to announce that eight gifted learners from community schools will be flown to London to attend Madiba’s 100th anniversary exhibition from 4 to 8 July 2018.

The exhibition is set to showcase the life and times of Nelson Mandela with the inclusion of the voices and opinions of children and teenagers of South Africa.

The learners were selected as the winners of Anglo American Platinum’s, Tata Madiba and I competition, launched on 1 April 2018. Their entries had to capture their fondest memories of the late president Nelson Mandela – by using crafts, drawing, poetry, painting, or by writing an essay. The eight winners were carefully selected on how they articulated themselves in sharing their fond memories of Tata Madiba.

Commenting on the opportunity for the learners, Ted Muhajir, Head of Social Performance at Anglo American Platinum said, “These learners will not only represent South Africa as ambassadors during the exhibition but will further be ambassadors of their respective communities, schools and Anglo American Platinum. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will broaden the horizons of the learners. It will also give them an insight into how Tata Madiba is viewed in other countries.”

The importance of supporting and creating thriving communities around Anglo American Platinum’s operations is core to the mine’s FutureSmart MiningTM Sustainability Strategy. Education is one of the identified community needs, and through this, the company aims to help targeted schools in host communities perform among the top 20% state schools by 2030 as part of their sustainability stretch goals.

The importance of overall academic performance was highlighted by the Tshukudu High School’s headmaster, Tshireletso Motheng, “Our school has been performing well in many areas. We are obviously ecstatic about the selection of our children.” While Hope Mmutle, an educator at the same school noted the significance of the prize in widening the horizons of the chosen learners, “This is a proud moment for us. These learners are the first in the history of our school to be afforded the chance to go overseas. This exposure could open their minds and inspire them to reach for the stars. We wish them the best of luck.”

Addressing the learners, Bayanda Mncwango, Head of Smelting Operations, said: “It is an honour to represent your school and country abroad. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Put your best foot forward and make us proud. To the rest of the school I say: There are plenty opportunities out there. Work hard and reach for your dreams. Don’t wait for opportunities to knock on your door. Create opportunities for yourself. Be dedicated to what you do and don’t lose sight of your goals. You are the master of your own future!”

Xiluva Mkansi, Onalenna Khunou, Thulisile Mdleleni, Litha Blayi and Keaboka Mathibe from Tshukudu High School from the company’s host communities in Rustenburg and could not hide their excitement about the trip, Litha Blayi said: “I am proud to be South African because for a developing country our country has a lot of opportunities. Nelson Mandela was a forgiver, unifier and a leader and I personally relate to that as I aspire to these values myself. I am excited about winning this trip as it will provide me with an opportunity to gain more knowledge and this is my first trip overseas. I am grateful to Anglo American Platinum, my school and community for this partnership and motivating me in everything I do.”

Three learners of Anglo American Platinum’s Mogalakwena host communities will also make this journey. They are: Khensani Maluleke of Seritarita Secondary School; Koketso Sebelebele of Makgenene Secondary School; and Elizabeth Mothwa of Mantutule Secondary School.

The learners departed on 3 July and return to South Africa on 8 July.

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