HomeCompany NewsRenault South Africa brings the gift of reading to Soweto children

Renault South Africa brings the gift of reading to Soweto children

JOHANNESBURG, 06 March 2023: Renault South Africa, in partnership with the Motus Imperial Trust, has donated the second of two mini-libraries that have been specially designed for use in junior schools in underprivileged areas. The library, which was handed over at the Sivuleleni Primary School in Soweto, is intended to promote literacy and a love of reading in the formative early years of schooling. And the need for facilities like these is more dire than ever.

The most recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), released in 2017, revealed that 78% of South African learners cannot read by the age of ten. Further statistics published by the Western Cape Government in 2022 show that nearly 60% of households do not own a book for leisure reading, that only 14% of the population reads for pleasure, and that only 5% of adults read to their children. In a socio-economic environment in which language literacy is a gateway skill, it is essential to turn the tide on these trends.

“At Renault, we believe that no child should be left behind,” said Sithabile Maphumulo, Renault South Africa’s Marketing Director, speaking at the handover. “We’re proud to have partnered with the Motus Imperial Trust, which has established 67 libraries in schools since its inception in 2003, to bring this library to Sivuleleni,we hope it will open the doors of learning for all the children who attend this school.”

Sivuleleni is a public primary school with 578 learners from Grade R to Grade 8. While the school is well managed by a dedicated cohort of teachers and staff, it did not have the funding for a library. Renault South Africa wanted to make that happen and stepped up with the funding needed to convert an empty classroom into a library and resource facility. The room is now stocked with over 8 000 titles, all covered in clear plastic to protect them and provide many years of happy reading.

The bright yellow décor, which echoes one of Renault’s corporate colours, also makes this a fun and inviting environment for the learners, who are aged between five and twelve. And the funding provided by Renault in conjunction with the Imperial Motus Trust allows for a dedicated librarian to assist them and oversee library management.

The first of the two mini libraries was handed over to the Ntethelelo Foundation in Alexandra on 26 January. Ntethelelo provides a haven for after-hours learning for girls from Grade R to Grade 6.  Founded in 2017, Ntethelelo uses applied drama techniques and various art methodologies to elicit dialogue about violence against women and girls and to promote meaningful social change.

“We have a strong commitment to social change,” says Maphumulo “and we specifically focus our corporate social investment on education. This is a focus that is closely aligned with Renault’s values. By enhancing learning environments, we aim to contribute to the delivery of quality universal education; education that will provide meaningful access to society and the workplace for every child.

“The books in the new library are appropriate to all curriculum phases  and we hope they’ll provide many hours of reading pleasure for the learners at Sivuleleni.”