When the language of Afrikaans became required alongside English in South Africa schools in 1974, black students began mobilizing themselves. On June 16, 1976, students marched peacefully to demonstrate against the illegitimate Apartheid government’s directive.
The aftermath of a peaceful demonstration turned violent had dire consequences for the Apartheid regime. Images of the police firing at peaceful students led to an international revulsion against the Apartheid government as its’ brutality was exposed. International solidarity movements put pressure on the government to temper its repressive rule. This pressure was maintained throughout the 1980s, until revolutionary movements were finally unbanned in 1990. The directive to instruct in Afrikaans was halted and schools reverted to instructing solely in English.
As a company, Komatsu Mining Corp. in South Africa is deeply involved in the support and empowerment of the youth.
- We have a robust bursary (scholarship) program which fully pays for the tertiary education of internal and external children. We currently have 35 students in the program and four will be completing the program this year.
- We were involved in the Shoes4Souls campaign for our Winter Drive, which resulted in approximately 80 pairs of shoes being donated to Vulindlela Primary School.
- By offering vacation work opportunities, experiential learnerships, apprenticeships and internships, we are empowering our youth with training and work experience, as well as uplifting the community via job opportunities.
- We sponsor and support numerous children’s homes and schools, including the Maths Centre which provides tuition support for students.
- We are involved in exhibition programs that expose youth to careers in engineering and manufacturing.
- Through the Employee Learning Week our employees’ children learn about our different business functions and how they could pursue careers in those fields.
This year, to commemorate Youth Day, our Wadeville employees came to work dressed in their school uniforms and a prize for participants was awarded.