• The Siyokhela Junior Secondary School will represent South Africa in Dubai

ROSSLYN, South Africa – Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan once said: "Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." Nissan SA believes wholeheartedly in the importance of education and is proud to announce that the Siyokhela Junior Secondary School, which is being supported by Nissan, won the national F1 in Schools Challenge on 2 December 2017 at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg.

The team from Siyokhela Junior Secondary School, known as Bonad, will jet off to Dubai in September of next year to represent South Africa in the next leg of this international competition.

The F1 In Schools initiative is a global programme to encourage learners aged 9 to 19 to experience Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), in a fun way and to encourage them to consider careers in STEM.

For the first time ever, Nissan has supported Siyokhela Junior Secondary School, which is in Soshanguve, Gauteng. For this challenge in particular, which involves the use of CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test and race miniature, compressed air-powered balsa wood F1 cars, Nissan donated over R20 000 and equipment to the school to enable their participation.

The programme was a perfect fit for Nissan as the company is committed to grooming future engineers and technologists for the auto-sector. In addition, the request also spoke to their strategy of creating and grooming a pipeline for the auto-sector through a Motor Enhancement Programme (MPET), a project that Nissan will launch in conjunction with the Department of Basic Education early next year.

"At Nissan, we believe we need to make steady progress in finding solutions to improving the lives of everyone and particularly the communities we work in. Part of this commitment to our society takes the form of ongoing investments in education to ensure that future generations are properly equipped for sustainable development," said Keba Matlhako, Nissan SA Corporate Social Responsibility Manager.

"We are extremely proud of the Siyokhela Junior Secondary School's achievement in the F1 in Schools Challenge. The learners worked hard on their project and their efforts paid off. The fact that they're going to be representing South Africa at the finals in Dubai is evidence of what can be achieved when learners are given the resources they need to excel," said Matlhako.

The Bonad team was made up of five learners, who range in age from 12 years to 14 years.

Siyokhela Junior Secondary School Principal, W. R Masemola, said: "Our learners were very excited when we received the sponsorship from Nissan. They haven't participated in a challenge like this before and we are all very proud of what they have achieved. We would like to thank Nissan for their support and look forward to representing our country in Dubai."

More good news

This weekend, Nissan also made a donation to the Ramodisha Lighthouse Organisation in the form of soccer-balls, kits and equipment for the December boys and girls soccer tournaments.

"We engage in various corporate social responsibility activities throughout the year to enrich people's lives because we understand that we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to uplift the communities we work in. We take great pleasure in giving back to society and we hope the children at Ramodisha Lighthouse Organisation have a great deal of fun playing soccer during the holiday," said Matlhako.

# # #