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Investing in our future

15 JANUARY 2018

Our Hillside operation is helping to change the lives of aspiring engineers in the local community

Our Hillside Aluminium operation in Richards Bay, South Africa, is helping to change the lives of aspiring engineers in the local community. Its Hillside Bursary Programme has supported 700 students over the past 20 years and, in 2018, has doubled its intake to help 62 high school graduates achieve their dreams of going to university.

Receiving a bursary means the students have their entire undergraduate degree and all associated costs, at any recognised South African university, covered by the Programme. This leaves them free to concentrate on their studies without worrying about costs.

Former bursary recipient and current graduate metallurgical engineer at Hillside, Brendon Nyandeni, said the Programme had made his dreams a reality.

“I don’t come from a financially well-off family so South32 was able to cover that gap for me. When I got to university, everything was paid for – the tuition fees, meals and accommodation,” Brendon said.

“I’m eternally grateful. I was able to achieve my dreams and, as Nelson Mandela used to say, education is the most powerful tool that can be used to change the world.”

Noel Pillay, Hillside Vice President Operations, said the Programme was enriching the development of skills in the community and facilitating the transition of talented, skilled people from universities into South Africa’s workforce.

“The heart of transforming our economy starts with equipping people with skills and education,” Noel said.

“At Hillside we need great people and, to achieve this, we look to develop and recruit talent from our communities.”

The Programme focuses on engineering disciplines including metallurgical, chemical, electrical (heavy current) and mechanical engineering. It is also a potential entry point into the sought-after Hillside Graduate Programme.