Transnet Limited, the state owned freight transport and logistics service provider has made a R5 million donation to the Rhodes University Library extension project. This is an important part of its drive to boost mathematics and science education in South Africa.

The donation, which was made through Transnet’s corporate social investment unit, The Transnet Foundation, will be used for building the Science Faculty Library.

Speaking at the cheque award ceremony in Grahamstown, Transnet Group Executive, Mr Vuyo Kahla, said: “Projects like the extension of these library facilities give us an opportunity to both contribute to the development of our communities – those in which we have major operations – as well as allow us to contribute to the government’s goals in terms of addressing the skills shortage challenges, especially in technical and maths related areas.”

“Skills development is very close to our hearts and we are spending about R500 million a year on training. This includes bursaries, especially for technical and other scarce skills like accounting as well as a major focus on revamping our training facilities to produce hundreds of technicians every year,” Mr Kahla added.

The Rhodes University Library operates on an open library policy and prides itself on making available its comprehensive information resources to the wider community of Grahamstown. It offers a significant resource for other tertiary institutions as well as for the wider Eastern Cape community. The extension project thus recognises the critical importance of the institution meeting current and future demands.

“Our choice to partner Rhodes and particularly this project was motivated by the Transnet Foundation’s emphasis on Mathematics, Science and Technology education. Training is a key requirement for us to be able to deliver on our mandate to reduce the cost of doing business in South Africa by improving efficiency of the transport infrastructure,” Mr Kahla added.

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