Inspired David Makhura, Panyaza Lesufi tour BMW Rosslyn plant

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and MEC for Eduction Panyaza Lesufi are given a tour by BMW representative Johan Mouton during their visit at BMW Rosslyn Plant. Picture: Supplied

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and MEC for Eduction Panyaza Lesufi are given a tour by BMW representative Johan Mouton during their visit at BMW Rosslyn Plant. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 23, 2022


Pretoria - Gauteng is on the right path to transitioning into a new economy of smart industries that are led by innovation and the up-skilling young people to prepare them to solve current and future problems.

This is according to Premier David Makhura and MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi, who yesterday visited the world-class BMW South Africa plant in South Africa, and the Soshanguve Engineering School of Specialisation with an automotive focus.

Makhura said he was inspired during his recent trip to Germany, where the BMW Group welcomed him to its group headquarters in Munich and he had key conversations about the motor group’s investments in Gauteng in future sustainability, and managing the automotive industry transition towards electrification and a carbon-neutral future as climate change reshapes societies and economies.

After touring the BMW Group’s operations to learn about new innovation and developments such as the in-house skills school for staff, they were treated to a moment of inspiration at the group-sponsored school, where pupils showcased robots and a solar-powered train they built from scratch.

Makhura said the BMW Group was an international company that had its South African base in Rosslyn, that was seen as a great partner to assist the government to unleash the talents of young people in townships like Soshanguve.

“Instead of sitting back and complaining that our education system is not relevant, we get industries, take them to our schools and say ‘your area sector that focuses on this unit and these skills, work with us at this school to get the most talented’ (to become skilled and learn to solve problems).

“These young people come from our townships and they are very brainy. They want to solve every problem from an energy problem at Eskom to a mobility problem at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

“They demonstrated that smart mobility means e-mobility, but it also means green mobility. This solar train solves multiple problems. They are solving a transport problem, but at the same time they are also solving a climate change problem,” said Makhura.

Lesufi said the department already had 21 schools of specialisation, and they were targeting 35, although ideally every school in Gauteng should be a school of specialisation so that pupils are trained early to do work that will be in demand.

“I am excited by these young ones. They have proved a point, that give an African child an opportunity and they will show you flames. I am proud of them and the leadership of the school. And also Premier Makhura for the support because even when we were going through Covid-19 where budget was limited and we had difficulties, the premier shielded education and health departments. This is the prize premier and I want to thank you,” said Lesufi.

The school is linked to BMW and whatever skills they need, BMW brings their trainers who train the young people. This is being done with other schools of specialisation to eliminate the mismatch between what is needed in the economy and what is taught in the classrooms.

Head of the BMW Group plant in Rosslyn, Johan Mouton said he was excited to have hosted Makhura and Lesufi because that strengthened relations between the company and the Gauteng government.

He was most proud to show them that the beloved Gusheshe BMW was also built at the Rosslyn plant. He said they would continue to support the community and invest in its growth and development.

Acting principal of the school, Tladi Mashiane said as principal in the 4th industrial revolution dispensation, he believed in creating a global competitive workforce with high engineering skills that are relevant and match technological advancement in the industry.

Pretoria News