On 26 November 1973, the Hans Merensky Trust became the Hans Merensky Foundation. According to the 1949 founding document, the “objective of the Hans Merensky Foundation is promote and assist in the development of the resources of South Africa and neighbouring territories – particularly such natural resources as soil, water, minerals, flora and fauna – and to promote the health and welfare of the inhabitants; more specifically by research, experimentation and demonstration and through the correlation and application of scientific knowledge.” 1
The Foundation awards scholarships for forestry and agricultural training at various levels and in respect of the related manufacturing and processing fields. To this end, the Foundation works with government organisations as well as various universities and agricultural colleges. A special fund entrusted to the Hamburg Senate awards scholarships to German students who want to study or work in southern Africa on one of the research interests supported by the Foundation.
Over the decades a huge amount of research has been funded that has supported the agricultural and forestry industries.
Hans Merensky Holdings (Pty) Ltd also funds a significant amount of research, largely within its subsidiary operations of Westfalia Fruit and Merensky Timber. Over the years HMH has awarded thousands of bursaries – nearly 100 per year – that have helped boost the educational level of South Africans across the country. This strategy also goes a long way to improving the earning potential and quality of life of the Group’s underprivileged employees.
1. From Eberhard W. Machens. Platinum, gold and diamonds: The adventure of Hans Merensky’s discoveries. Protea Book House Publisher. 2009. Available at www.proteaboekhuis.co.za.