Engineering gives Back

Engineering gives back

As a way of celebrating the Faculty of Engineering’s 75th year of existence, the Faculty, under the direction of the Engineering Students’ Council (ESC), took part in two local community interaction projects: one in Kayamandi and another in Cloetesville. This initiative was called Engineering gives Back.

Manqoba Mdau, project leader of the Kayamandi initiative, says: “In Kayamandi, the ESC identified Makupula High School as the school to assist, because as a university, our target market is high school learners. Furthermore, the Makupula High School needed assistance with renovating the library in an effort to create a reading space and atmosphere. The library consists of two rooms. One room is already furnished and filled with books. The other side needed serious work.”

The school has been assisted with the following:

  • Painting the wall and ceiling of the room that needed some work done to it.
  • Treating the wooden floor that needed reworking.
  • In addition, thanks to a donation from Facilities Management, the room that needed work will receive six previously used (but in good condition) book shelves.
  • Furthermore, a book drive has been initiated for the school and so far the students of Engineering have been of great help in acquiring books for the shelves.
  • The fully-furnished room was spring cleaned and books were rearranged according to the book system of the school library.

Manqoba shares his feeling about this project: “If anything, my aim as I led this project was to ensure that the learners of Makupula High are given a space where their dreams are sustained and amplified, a space where they can be deep in their imagination and find hope, irrespective of their current realities.”

The team working at Cloetesville High School was headed by ESC member Francesca Strydom. She elaborates: “The Engineering Students’ Council sent out emails to Engineering students inviting them to participate in the projects. We identified a lack of sporting equipment as one of the biggest problems at Cloetesville High School.”

The following improvements were made:

  • Six netball posts have been welded and painted by volunteering engineering students, with help and guidance from the Mechanical and Mechatronic Workshop. These posts have been delivered and are in use by the school.
  • A set of burglar bars has also been welded and delivered to the school. The school has indicated that they will install the burglar bars themselves and where they see fit.
  • A concrete ramp to the school’s hall (for disabled students) was built with help from engineering students. Talisman Tool Hire is a kind sponsor of all the sand and gravel, while the cement sponsor of the Department of Civil Engineering, PPC, also sponsored the cement for this project.
  • The lines on the school’s three netball courts (two of these courts have no lines at all) were painted.

Francesca sums up: “Those who volunteered, helped with planning, welding and painting, as well as getting quotes. The Mechanical and Mechatronic Workshop personnel helped us with welding in the Workshop and made sure everything was safe. A civil engineering student, Mo Gangat, did calculations to determine the quantities of sand, cement and stones needed for the ramp, as well as how we would build the ramp.

“For me, these projects were incredibly fun to tackle, especially because the people involved were so passionate and eager to help. It was a pleasure working with Cloetesville High School and seeing how eager the school is to help their pupils. I would say any project like this is very satisfying to get involved in, and I highly recommend it.”