Wits Innovation Bridge Inspires Hope for a Better Future


A bridge to represent a concept of the ‘inner spine’ linking the Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform (WADDP), multiple Wits Engineering schools, and the revamped Geosciences building was unveiled on 12 July 2023.

The bridge links Wits’ East and West campuses – and arcs through the FEBE building and the Wits Mining Institute, the DigiMine, the Tika FabLab, the Telkom Industry Solutions Lab, and the Wits Innovation Centre (WIC), which is home to the David and Angela Fine Chair in Innovation. The bridge also symbolises a gateway from the past into the future.

Symbol of Innovation and the Future of Engineering

The innovation bridge aligns with Wits’ strategy to develop an ‘innovation spine’ – geographic locations where brilliant minds unite to create impactful solutions across all disciplines.

This emerging topographical landscape spans Wits campuses, Braamfontein, and Parktown to connect innovation hubs across mining, healthcare, and tech sectors, amongst others.

The ‘outer spine’ traverses the Wits’ Digital Innovation Precinct, named Tshimologong, as well as FinTech, and health tech hubs.

The bridge, a structural implementation to improve the University’s infrastructure not only represents innovation in engineering and structural design but signifies a union and enduring investment in human capital and the development of future engineering skills.

Alliances Furthering the Future of a Skilled Workforce

Launched by Wits University and Sibanye-Stillwater, the newly refurbished and rebranded Innovation bridge was funded by Sibanye-Stillwater.

Sibanye-Stillwater also committed an additional R51 million to Wits to invest in study bursaries, learnerships within the Group’s mining operations, graduate internship programmes and staff development within the Wits Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE).

What the Leaders Have to Say

CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, Neal Froneman says: “The Sibanye-Stillwater Wits partnership symbolises the fusion of industry academia, as we join forces to shape the future of mining and create a lasting positive impact on our planet. It is a commitment to the shared values of excellence, integrity, and collaboration.”

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University, Zeblon Vilakazi emphasises the importance of innovation is a driving force for momentum across disciplines and sectoral boundaries he says; “We must use our knowledge for the advancement of our community, city, country, continent, and the globe to produce outputs, both tangible and intangible for the benefit of humanity, for good.”

This momentous occasion is a reminder of the richness of knowledge and skill that South Africa as a nation embodies and serves as a beacon of hope, as it strives towards an even greater future.


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