Anglo American hands over iconic building to WBS

Anglo American recently officially handed over one of the iconic buildings at its former campus in the Johannesburg central business district (CBD) to Wits Business School (WBS), demonstrating the company’s broad commitment to education, entrepreneurship, and leaving a positive legacy in the CBD.

The impressive eight-floor,15 000 square metre building, will allow WBS to launch the ‘Wits Crucible’ a state-of-the-art Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) and New Venture Creation, providing crucial business education, business incubation, and business acceleration services for youth and entrepreneurs in the Johannesburg inner-city.

Bridging the gap between academic learning and real-world entrepreneurial experience, the Wits Crucible will provide four key units of entrepreneurship development support for youth, student entrepreneurs and Wits graduates. These will include a Development Unit to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills to ideate, launch and grow a successful business. The Crucible will also include a Venture Screening and Selection Unit which will focus on the feasibility of business ideas to drive innovation and digital technology integration. It will also boast an Incubation Unit for selected business ventures and an Acceleration Unit to offer intensive growth support to top performing ventures.

Professor Maurice Radebe, Head and Director of WBS said: “As a leading African business school, we are honoured to collaborate with stakeholders like Anglo American to fuel Johannesburg’s renewal. The CfE embodies the power of partnerships to enable young entrepreneurs to turn their innovative ideas into thriving businesses and to unleash the potential of small businesses to drive economic growth not only in Johannesburg but in other inner cities and townships throughout South Africa.”

In 2022, Wits University and Anglo American also partnered to upgrade the Johannesburg Planetarium, situated on the university’s city campus, into a world-class digital hub. The new Wits Anglo American Digital Dome will be state of-the-art science centre that will inspire all generations to take an active interest in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and the digital arts.

As part of its broader commitment to supporting access to tertiary education, last year, Anglo American handed over the 45 Main Street building to the Maharishi Invincibility Institute (MII), supporting education outcomes for underprivileged youth in the CBD, while De Beers transferred ownership of the historic Harry Oppenheimer House building in Kimberley to the Sol Plaatje University, allowing it to expand the development of its Centre for Continuous Professional Development.

Nolitha Fakude, chairperson of the Anglo American management board in South Africa, said: “We’ve always been dedicated towards contributing a positive legacy wherever we are, and so making sure that our much-loved historic campus in the CBD is repurposed to provide long-lasting contribution to the vibrancy and sustainability of the city was always part of our vision. Through our close collaboration with several passionate public and private sector partners, we are contributing toward the rejuvenation of the city. Seeing our buildings find new purpose in the hands of exemplary partners like Wits not only proves the power of partnerships, but also supports South Africa’s national imperatives – education and job creation through entrepreneurship and will set up a whole new generation of young people for success.”

Useful resources:
Wits Business School
At the Wits Business School we recognise that our task, through our academic and executive education programmes, is to equip leaders, managers and entrepreneurs with skills to proactively address challenges presented by the changing environment within which we operate.
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