Denel Overberg Test Ranges social responsibility activities forms part of our Socio-Economic Development (SED) initiatives. Our goal is to spend 4% of net profit after tax on SED initiatives. We will fulfill this goal by focusing on areas that are aligned with the Governments national objectives as well as our business strategies. The selected focus areas are:
- Support of education programmes;
- Initiatives requiring monetary or non-monetary contributions targeted at exempted micro-enterprise (EME) or qualifying small enterprises (QSE); and
- Monetary or non-monetary contributions to other socio-economic development programmes such as supporting sporting development initiatives.
The Test Range is committed to make a positive contribution to the communities in which we work by supporting meritorious projects aimed at development and upliftment of these communities. We believe that support for charities and community organisations helps foster good relationships with communities. Our involvement is focused on providing logistical and financial support to especially our local communities and supporting education projects with a science, engineering and technology focus. Preference is given to programmes that have a long-term developmental impact for society.
Close relationship with children of Arniston community
Over the years the Test Range has developed a close relationship with the children of the neighbouring Arniston fishing community through various projects at the Wagenhuiskrantz Primary School and the Stoute Kabouter crche. Noteworthy contributions are the sponsoring of the Grade 5 educators salary since 2007, subsidising the crche teachers salary, contributing to the establishment of a computer centre at the school and providing support with the maintenance of both facilities.
Due to a shortage of funds, Grade 5 and 6 learners prior to the Test Ranges intervention had to share an educator. According to Mr Andr Marthinus, Principal of Wagenhuiskrantz Primary, the educator appointed with financial support from the Test Range has provided learners with individual attention and the learners has since achieved excellent results in systemic literacy and numeracy tests compared to results of test prior to the intervention. Recently the Test Range has also started providing support to the Waenhuiskrans After-school Care Centre which 50 learners from Grade 1 to 7 attend.
A highlight to the learners however remains the sweets packets that the Test Range distributed to them at the end of the year! On the second last school day of the year packets of sweets are distributed to the learners of Wagenhuiskrantz Primary School enabling them to share in the festive season. This is always a special occasion which brings must joy to the learners.
Apart from subsidising the teachers salary the Stoute Kabouter crche has been supported in various ways: the painting of the crche building, replacing of the roof and donating blankets to the children.
Denel Overberg Test Range's involvement with the Nompumelelo Pre-School in Bredasdorp dated back to September 2007 when the Test Range contributed funds for the building of a new permanent school structure. Since then the Test Range has on various occasions donated items to the school including furniture, carpets, heaters as well as blankets and packets of sweets to the children.
As part of the Mandela Day initiatives in 2011 Test Ranges personnel upgraded the playground of the school. Seeing the grateful smiles on the children's faces made the effort worthwhile.
Donations to non-profit organisations
Where possible Denel Overberg Test Range endeavours to makes a difference in the local community to the best of our abilities and to lend a helping hand where the need is big.
Support already provided include the donation of couches, chairs, beds, bedding, curtains and other items to non-profit organisations working towards the support and upliftment of the less privileged in Bredasdorp and surrounding communities. These items became available at Die Herberg after the facility was upgraded. Owing to the huge need experienced in the area, the Range decided to donate these items to three organisations already actively involved in the community. The beneficiaries included Suideroord Old Age Home and Liefdesnessie in Bredasdorp and Elim Home in Elim. Liefdesnessie is an institution that provides food and recreation for the needy elderly and disabled persons, while the Elim Home cares for disabled in Elim, a previously disadvantaged community near Bredasdorp.
Mrs Karin Dickason, matron of the old age home, mentioned that the donated dining room chairs was like an early Christmas gift really necessary and ideal for the use by the older persons.
At Liefdesnessie, an institution that provides food and recreation for the needy elderly and disabled persons, they could not wait for the opportunity to watch television from the comfort of a couch or lounge chairs they received from the Test Range. They expressed their gratitude by serenading to the Range representatives and the sincere smiles on their faces were evidence enough that they truly appreciated this gesture.
The Elim Home for disabled children in Elim, a previously disadvantaged community near Bredasdorp, received various linen items. Sister Engel received the items on behalf of the Home and confirmed the Homes tremendous need for support from the community. After the Test Range representatives had been enlightened about the activities of Elim Home they were taken on a tour of the facilities.
In a similar gesture the Test Range has donated furniture to the Koringaartjies Nursery School in Protem, a small rural community close to the Range. The Nursery School is under the auspices of the Bredasdorp ACVV branch.
Learners visited the Test Ranges Meteorological Station
Over the years a visit to the Test Ranges Meteorological Station has become a favourite excursion for learners from the schools in the local communities. These visits provide the learners the opportunity for practical exposure to specific elements included in their natural sciences curriculum. Various aspects of weather forecasting are explained and the learners are exposure to the weather instrumentation that is used.
On 13 & 14 September 2010 a group of Grades 4 to 7 learners from Runs College visited the Meteorological Station. The presentation by Mr Giel Hugo was as usual well received by all the learners.
Talented student sponsored to attend National Expo
During 2010, Dillon Hopley, a learner of Bredasdorp High School was the only learner from the Overberg whose science project has been invited to the National Expo for young scientists which took place from 28 to 31 September 2010 in Pretoria after his project was awarded a silver medal at the regional Expo held in Stellenbosch. This was an exceptional achievement for this diligent learner from a previously disadvantage community, as only 20 projects were selected at the regional Expo to advance to the National Expo. This Expo organised by IMSTUS and sponsored by Eskom, is South Africa's primary and biggest science fair that affords school learners the opportunity to display their scientific investigations for evaluation and discussion by knowledgeable judges. Dillons project was about a smokeless fire-place (chimney). Denel Overberg Test Range made it possible for this learner to attend the Expo by donated R1 500 to him to cover the additional cost each learner has to pay.
Lack of skills, particularly in high technology areas, is a major concern worldwide and particularly so in South Africa. Contribution towards the development of the youth, as demonstrated with this sponsorship, is part of the Test Ranges on-going programmes to develop these skills with the ultimate aim of drawing young people into technical careers in the defence industry.
Young development in Napier supported
Another initiative supported by the Test Range is the Napier Youth Development Forum (NYDF) in the Napier community. The NYDF is a forum which encourages learners from the different schools to partake in sports such as rugby, soccer and netball. The aim is to keep children constructively busy in a town where there is not much to do. In the spirit of the FIFA World Cup soccer and netball balls were donated to the forum in 2010. Recently Mr. Andre Kok, Denel Overberg Test Ranges Manager Human Resources also handed over a first aid kit and refill to Louis Smythe, a Denel Overberg Test Range employee and Chairman of the Napier Youth Development Forum, who is actively involved with the initiative and who approached the Test Range for support.