Roads to success; bridges to opportunities

Heidi Harper of SANRAL believes the agency’s commitment to education contributes to the vision of Nelson Mandela. 

Heidi Harper believes education truly is a powerful driver of our country’s growth.

The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) is contributing to the creation of an egalitarian South African society through its continued support for education and knowledge-sharing. 

Our commitment to education goes beyond filling our personnel needs. It is in line with the vision of Nelson Mandela, whose centenary we celebrate this year: “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.” 

We know from our experience in this field that we have built not only thousands of kilometres of roads, but also roads to success and bridges to opportunities.  

We have done this through the establishment of two academic Chairs at three universities, another to promote the teaching and understanding of maths and science, and our involvement at two universities with the promotion of maths and science teaching.  

But perhaps of more importance is our commitment to learners and students and assistance with internships as well as good-quality learning for graduates. 

Not just beneficial to the agency  

We at SANRAL concentrate on helping those who may later want to work for us. But our support net is thrown wider and we support more of those who excel in maths and science, because that is where our country’s needs lie.  

We invest in education at high school level and last year awarded 194 scholarships, while 133 students received bursaries. 

What was particularly pleasing is that more than 300 interns could be accommodated by SANRAL’s contractors and consultants.  

We also established our own Training Excellence Academy (TEA) in 2014. We started with three engineering graduates for our Candidate Training Masterplan, enabling candidates to meet the high registration expectations of the Engineering Council of South Africa.  

We now have a total of 27 graduates at the TEA. All of this we do to bring capable people onto the job market – of which the majority may end up at SANRAL itself.  

Education truly is a powerful driver of our country’s growth. 

This is an opinion piece by Heidi Harper, Corporate Services Executive at SANRAL