A delegation, headed by the Acting Premier of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape in South Africa, visited the European manufacturing facility and head office of Ransomes Jacobsen recently.
Leonard Ramatlakane led the team of South African advisors, who were here in the UK to undertake due diligence for an initiative that, if successful, will provide affordable, available and sustainable golf to 21 Priority Areas for Social Transformation in the Western Cape, mainly in the townships.
The delegation visited Ransomes Jacobsen to see the three-hole golf course that the company constructed last year on waste ground and which will form the blueprint for similar courses in South Africa. Following a tour of the manufacturing plant, under the guidance of Ransomes Jacobsen's Managing Director David Withers, the delegation played a round of golf on the par 3 short course, the first people to play the 'RJ National' in an official capacity!
The visit was arranged by Firstgolf Ltd, founded by Gill Wilson and Howard Swan, who are committed to delivering inclusive programmes that allow people from across the social spectrum to develop their skills irrespective of age gender, race or ability.
Commenting on the visit David Withers said, "We are delighted to be involved with this forward-thinking initiative, which recognises that offering affordable, available and sustainable golf in the less privileged township areas will have a lasting impact on the broader South Africa. Not only will it contribute to more diversity in the game of golf, it will also encourage education, careers and healthier lifestyles.
"As a result of the visit here and a further visit to the Firstgolf course at Rye Hill Golf Club in Oxfordshire, Mr Ramatlakane has signed a Declaration of Intent on behalf of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape with Firstgolf to pilot the initiative in the townships of Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain."
Image: Howard Swan of Firstgolf and David Withers, MD of Ransomes Jacobsen, with the South African delegation led by Acting Premier of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, Leonard Ramatlakane pictured on the three-hole golf course at the company's Ipswich manufacturing facility.