The Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindiswa Chikunga, delivered a very moving keynote address yesterday afternoon, Friday 26 April 2013 at the launch of the ATNS Flagship Corporate Social Investment Project at the Ngotshe Secondary School, situated near the rural town of Louwsburg, KwaZulu Natal.

We are here because of Air Traffic and Navigation Services’ (ATNS) contribution to the less privileged, said the Deputy Minister.

"The resources that we see today will make it possible for our learners to be able to acquire computer and literacy skills, which are needed for post matric entry into Further Education Training (FET) colleges and other institutions of higher learning. It will also provide the entire community with an information hub," remarked the Deputy Minister, while cutting the ribbon at the new media centre and the library – resourced by ATNS.

ATNS Corporate Social Investment (CSI) strategy is based on the premise that staff volunteerism as a key driver for delivering social responsibility. Staff volunteerism entails staff identifying projects within their own communities that ATNS can evaluate and approve for funding.

The Ngotshe Project is different in that it was the institution’s School Governing Body (SGB) that travelled overnight in mid-June last year, from Louwsburg to the ATNS Head Office in Johannesburg, to present their plight. A myriad of resources were urgently needed for the school.

The Corporate Social Investment landscape has evolved and will continue to change in years to come, said Mr Thabani Mthiyane ATNS’ Acting CEO. "I’m encouraged that most business leaders recognize social investment strategies are a key business imperative. ATNS is no exception."

"Sustainable and meaningful engagements with local communities, in this instance Louwsburg, civil society and various departments of state speak to broader role of business in society," Mr Mthiyane concluded.

ATNS has to date, provided the following to the school; the provision of a computer and media room with 30 new computers, a projector and a projection screen. A process of resourcing the library is at an advanced stage of completion. Resourcing the school laboratory and the provision of sporting facilities for learners will be in place in the next few months. Lastly, providing much needed assistance in the first-ever matric camp for the school, which will take place in September.

Mr Patrick Dlamini, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) Group CEO, who is the school’s patron, addressing the learners, said that wearing the same uniform does make learners look the same but that their destinies are different. "Your views, your perceptions and your other behavioural traits are not the same. Take you god-given talents to another level by being what you aspire to be."

Top Officials from National and Provincial Governments, as well as local dignitaries were in attendance.