Enabling the Maharishi Invincibility Institute to increase its student capacity by 3 000.

Mining giant Anglo American has donated another of its buildings in the Johannesburg central business district (CBD) precinct to non-profit education group the Maharishi Invincibility Institute.

The over 40 000m2 45 Main Street building is the second the JSE-listed group has donated to the institute; the first is on Ntemi Piliso Street, just outside the precinct, which is the school’s current address.

Anglo American hosted the official handover on Friday. It says this investment into education is part of its efforts aimed at breathing new life into the crumbling CBD, which was once  the centre of economic activity in South Africa.

The investment will allow Maharishi to increase its capacity by at least 3 000 more students. The institute, which focuses on the education of underprivileged youth, is currently home to just over 1 000 students.

“Anglo American’s Johannesburg CBD campus is a testament to the past, but it is a beacon of hope for the future,” says CEO Duncan Wanblad.

“Preserving the historic campus and others like it is not merely an exercise [in] nostalgia, it is a commitment to the well-being and the future of generations that come behind us.”

Dr Taddy Blecher, CEO of the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, says: “Through the donation of 45 Main Street, the Institute will continue to further its mission of developing a new generation of competent leaders right here in Johannesburg’s inner-city.

“We are deeply grateful to Anglo American for their long-term and profound vision. Through our intense focus on getting youth into quality jobs, based on scarce-skills development, and [in] doing this in a holistic and sustainable way, we truly believe that if more companies, organisations, and the government come together to tackle the city’s challenges, we can help secure a more productive future for all.

“By entrenching ourselves in the CBD, we want to play a more active part in making the inner-city a more attractive and safer place to live, work, and thrive.”

Solidifying exit

Anglo American officially moved out of downtown Johannesburg in 2021, relocating its operations to Rosebank, following several other big businesses that have opted out of the area to settle in the northern areas of the city.

Despite the move, the group’s corporate services manager, Anton Uys, tells Moneyweb the miner continues to have an investment interest in the area.

“We’ve got five buildings [in the precinct]; this is the first one we are donating, and we are working on plans for the rest of the buildings, so that will pan out in time. So far we are still committed to especially our old heritage building and we will probably forever keep a share in that building because this is where it started.”

Joburg facelift

Anglo American, along with some of its stakeholder partners, including Nando’s, Wits University, Standard Bank, Investec and the Maharishi Institute, have come together under the Johannesburg CBD Coalition banner to transform and revitalise the inner city.

According to Nolitha Fakude, chair of Anglo American’s management board, the coalition of businesses will play a crucial part in giving the city centre the facelift it needs.

“We firmly believe that Johannesburg’s inner-city regeneration hinges on nurturing the potential of its young people, who represent the city’s future,” she says.

“Looking beyond this, we are thrilled by the strides made in the last two years through collaborative efforts with various stakeholders. Together, we have crafted a shared vision for Johannesburg’s renewal, culminating in establishing the Johannesburg CBD Coalition – a platform where the Maharishi Invincibility Institute also actively participates.

“This coalition serves as a powerful catalyst for change, fostering synergy among like-minded organisations, pooling their collective expertise, resources, and insights to forge a cohesive and actionable blueprint for the city’s rejuvenation.”

Source: moneyweb.co.za