Pretoria/ Employeesfrom Mercedes-Benz South Africa group of companies in South Africa (MBSA) will once again put on a united front on Mandela Day, 18 July 2012, when they extend the work that the company already carries out at two selected Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects. Teams of employees will depart from the organisation’s Zwartkop head office and East London plant to the Reiger Park community in Boksburg and the Chicken Farm community outside Mdantsane respectively.
CEO of MBSA, Dr Martin Zimmermann, explains that sustainability is a key driver of the company’s CSI and that this also extends to the annual Mandela Day activities undertaken at its various locations. “This is a strategic decision to deepen our impact at existing projects, and leave a more permanent legacy in these communities. What this special commemorative day does is to afford us the opportunity to activate the newest aspect of our CSR, namely employee volunteerism. Community upliftment is a lived part of our corporate values, and we have built a dedicated team of employee volunteers who are committed to creating social change in the two years that our volunteerism programme has been running,” he adds.
The Boksburg outreach event at the St Anthony’s Education Centre is a case in point. MBSA has supported this initiative for the past two years as part of its education focus by assisting with skills development, automotive learnerships, and Grade 12 re-write programmes. Not only does this centre have one of the highest Grade 12 pass rates in Gauteng, but it was also recently recognised by the ANC for the role it played in building previously disadvantaged communities at a time in the country’s past when repressive education limited their scope and development.
On Mandela Day, employees from MBSA head office will give 6 hours and 7 minutes of their time to upgrading the facility through painting, cleaning and gardening activities. In addition, the company has partnered with another of its CSI initiatives – Trucking Wellness – to bring mobile HIV/AIDS and general wellness testing facilities to the community living around St Anthony’s. These clinics usually target long haul truckers and roadside communities, but on Mandela Day will dedicate their time to the Reiger Park community.
Similarly, in East London, employees from the manufacturing plant will visit its Sange project, to deliver winter warmer collection items to the Child and Youth Care Centre in Chicken Farm outside Mdantsane.