Sibanye-Stillwater and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a sponsorship of approximately R52-million, thus strengthening the longstanding relationship between academia and industry in South Africa.
This will include the refurbishment of the bridge that extends over the M1 freeway in Johannesburg and links Wits University’s Braamfontein East Campus with the Braamfontein West Campus.
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman said, “We are mindful of the business imperative to maintain a strong pipeline of young and diverse talent and the provision of quality tertiary education is a vital requirement if we are to sustain the mining industry and grow the economy.”
“The Wits Sibanye-Stillwater Infinity Bridge will be a literal and metaphoric gateway to the future for the students, ensuring safe access to education and for the mining industry in particular, providing a platform for success globally.” The bridge will be renamed the Wits Sibanye-Stillwater Infinity Bridge and its unveiling is planned for October 2022 at the culmination of the Wits Centenary Campaign and its 100th birthday month.
This sponsorship will go a long way to support the FEBE Endowment fund, scholarships for disadvantaged students, support of academic pipeline and the Special Projects Fund within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) over a 10-year period. “This investment will assist postgraduate students (researchers and future academic leaders) financially, support faculty projects that are expected to have a positive societal impact and capacitate an educational pipeline to ensure the continuous delivery of excellent education,” says Sibanye-Stillwater.
Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits, said, “The bridge epitomises the strength of academic and industry partnerships towards mutually beneficial support and service. The Wits Sibanye-Stillwater Infinity Bridge is not only a physical manifestation of our enduring relationship but now ensures strong support for knowledge-generation and high-level skills development as well as ‘infinite’ sustainability of the system that delivers this.”