Earlier this week, 400 engineering students from Stellenbosch University had the opportunity to take an up-close look at some of the practical challenges facing communities in and around the town.

Three groups of third and fourth-year future engineers from various fields of specialisation visited Klapmuts, Kayamandi and Jamestown respectively. Here, the Ranyaka team challenged them to come up with creative solutions to tackle actual issues affecting the quality of life of the residents in these areas.

Ranyaka co-founder and director, urban planning specialist Johan Olivier, explains: “It’s all about understanding that when we plan, design and construct, we’re planning, designing and constructing for people. It’s not a theoretical exercise. As professional planners and engineers, we need to place ourselves in the shoes of those who will be walking the physical streets we design, catching the taxi at the rank, playing in the park. We need to intentionally and consistently place the well-being of people at the centre of our design thinking.”

Thank you to Stellenbosch University for collaborating with Ranyaka to bring the message of social impact to our future leaders. Special thanks to Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation at the university for making this initiative possible.

Collaboration is one of Ranyaka’s key focus areas. These initiatives also form part of the Nedbank-funded Proud of my Town programme that aims to bring holistic and sustainable socio-economic transformation to towns and neighbourhoods.