Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone supports education among needy school children

Jul 12, 2011

An important element of Bridgestone South Africa's corporate social responsibility programme is the tyre company's support of the South African Primary Education Support Initiative (SAPESI) and its Mobile Library Project.

Literacy in school children from previously disadvantaged areas is a countrywide concern and this project contributes to making it possible for more children to have access to educational reading materials that are not normally available at home or at school.

Bridgestone's support takes the form of providing the tyres for the mobile library's 32 vehicles operating in the provinces of Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. By early next year, the remaining five provinces will be equipped with mobile library vehicles currently being prepared by SAPESI. These vehicles are operated by the Department of Education and some non-government organisations (NGOs), who regularly visit schools in often remote rural areas.

Bridgestone also offers a tyre care and maintenance service through its Supa Quick, Speedy and Autoquip dealers as well as Max T Solutions, a subsidiary company of Bridgestone South Africa. Bridgestone maintains a data base for each vehicle, recording tyre sizes, distance travelled and replacement periods. Tyres are replaced as and when necessary, based on regular assessment by Bridgestone representatives. Fitting of tyres and alignment of wheels is conducted at no cost by Bridgestone's retail network.

"Since we started working with SAPESI and the Mobile Library Project, in June last year, we have already replaced the tyres on a number of these vehicles in each of the provinces in which they are operating," said Mandy Lovell, Bridgestone's public relations manager.

"Education plays a vital role in the lives of all South Africans and our involvement with SAPESI is in line with our social responsibility focus. We trust that our support of these mobile libraries will contribute towards improving literacy among many more school children."

Established in 2005, the South Africa Mobile Library Project is a joint project between the South African Department of Education and SAPESI to improve South Africa's literacy levels. The mobile library vehicles were acquired through donations from Japan and brought to South Africa, where provincial departments of education operate them to provide book loans to children and teachers at primary and middle schools. SAPESI also supports the preservation of South Africa's indigenous languages by providing books written in these languages.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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