“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

Bevan Mongwe


Mining & Manufacturing

Organisation / Company

Anglo American Platinum


Bevan Mongwe, 25, is a graduate electrical engineer who works for Anglo American Platinum. His practical training involves learning how to use engineering equipment in mines and process plants and shadowing and assisting engineers on site. Bevan obtained seven distinctions in matric, but had little idea about which career to pursue. This is one of the reasons that he founded the Ezmazwe Innovation Science and Technology Expo, so that young villagers in Tzaneen can make informed decisions about career choices. The initiative also develops skills, because learners participate in practical projects that they present on expo day. Bevan is also the co-founder of the Valhuri Community Development Organisation, which teaches learners about the importance of maths and science. South Africa is rich in natural resources, particularly its abundant sunlight, and Bevan says that engineers are exploring new and environmentally friendly ways to harness these resources, such as developing more efficient solar panels. He believes that the future of engineering is bright in our country, and has myriad employment opportunities for the youth.


Entrepreneurship 1 Certificate, University of Pennsylvania
Brand Management Certificate, London Business School
BSc (Electrical Engineering), University of Cape Town
Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Certificate, University of Cape Town


The project I am most proud of is the Ezamazwe Innovation Science and Technology (IST) Expo. In 2023, my employer Anglo American had an Ambassadors for Good Programme that enabled employees to partner with non-profit organisations in their local communities, and donated R100 000 in funding for a project that would have sustainable socioeconomic development impact.
In partnership with Ezamazwe Education Centre for Innovation in my hometown Tzaneen, the project Ezamazwe IST Expo was accepted into the programme. In October 2023, we hosted the first Ezamazwe IST Expo.
The expo gave six invited schools projects in food security, unemployment, financial literacy, water crisis, electricity crisis and crime, and asked them to provide innovative solutions, presentations and prototypes for awards. We also invited private and public entities and institutions to share knowledge about career opportunities with the invited schools.
The event was the first of its kind in Tzaneen, with over 25 exhibitors including De Beers, Anglo American, Sefako Makgatho University, University of Johannesburg, University of Limpopo, Standard Bank, Sasko and many more. Sasko also donated 80 loaves for the learners. In April 2024 we hosted another expo, doubling the numbers, with more than 1 000 learners and 54 exhibitors. The Electoral Commission of South Africa was one of our major stakeholders, as South Africa has elections this year and political education is important for all. The project strategy is proving to be on track, as we hosted an expo five months after the first one and it was more successful. This is something we don’t take lightly, and we are appreciative of all our partners. The blend of career exhibitions, with young people presenting innovative solutions to the challenges our country faces, is unlocking potential through collaborations.
The lessons I learnt from this project is that I got exposed to diverse challenges, fostering the development of crucial skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and project management. These skills are not only valuable in a volunteer setting but are also helpful in the professional realm.
I also learnt that I am creative at heart: I was designing the project pitch documents, floor plans, learners’ project guides and anything that required creativity. I learnt about the challenges experienced in schools and what solutions are needed to improve the quality of education, especially in rural areas.


Yes, there are. My mentor, Melvinia Chidi, is a principal electrical electrical engineer at Anglo American. Usually when there are major projects, she makes me do more, so I can gain practical and leadership experience. She leaves me to run a project, showing her level of trust in me, which boosts my confidence and desire to continue working hard. She managed to climb the ranks at a young age and is passionate about sharing information with the younger generation, lifting as she rises. I always feel uplifted after talking to her. Some of my mentors also include Thabang Mahlafunya, Lindokuhle Phiri, Christopher Durow, and many others, each serving a unique role in my life journey. Over and above technical expertise mentors, my parents are my role models. They were able to do good for themselves — becoming a different, better version of their upbringing. They never allowed circumstances to influence their reality. I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for their guidance and encouragement, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They have taught me the love of family and that of community, and to never forget where we come from.