Building donation to Maharishi Invincibility Institute ‘a powerful catalyst for change’

'We intend to use the building both for high school pupils as well as the professional industry academies,' says the institute.


With all the dire news around decrepit buildings in the news in the past two weeks, one bright light has emerged following Anglo American’s donation of its 45 Main Street building in the Joburg CBD to a nonprofit organisation which primarily deals with education. The building was donated to the Maharishi Invincibility Institute on 4 August. Education through Maharishi institute The institute’s CEO Dr Teddy Blecher said the gift was unbelievable. “It’s an exceptional, unbelievable, amazing gift. This building is valued at about R150 million and Anglo American also gave a lot of furniture. They also helped refurbish a lot…

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With all the dire news around decrepit buildings in the news in the past two weeks, one bright light has emerged following Anglo American’s donation of its 45 Main Street building in the Joburg CBD to a nonprofit organisation which primarily deals with education.

The building was donated to the Maharishi Invincibility Institute on 4 August.

Education through Maharishi institute

The institute’s CEO Dr Teddy Blecher said the gift was unbelievable.

“It’s an exceptional, unbelievable, amazing gift. This building is valued at about R150 million and Anglo American also gave a lot of furniture. They also helped refurbish a lot of the building, so it is a very valuable donation.

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“They were offered R150 million for the building but they decided to give it to the youth of our city for education through the Maharishi Invincibility Institute.

“We have worked on this for three years because they announced in the media in 2019 0r 2020 that they were going to be moving out of the building and going to Rosebank.

“Some of the biggest property companies in the country and probably developers were making proposals to Anglo to buy or lease the building.

“We weren’t part of that process in the beginning but after six months we were part of that process and we were very fortunate that they selected us.”

Blecher said the organisation provided world-leading education for all and the idea was to make education accessible even for those who did not have money but were passionate about education. He said since they started in 2007, they had now educated 22 000 people and had placed over 19 000 people into jobs.

“If it is something that we offer then we are always trying to help as many students as possible,” Blecher said.

He said they were planning to start using the building in January next year after completing all that needed to be in place.

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“We intend to use the building both for high school pupils as well as the professional industry academies,” said Blecher.

“We are just in the process of setting up the building to go live and getting all occupational health and safety certificates, fire certificates and all the relevant approvals before we move any students in there.”

Joburg’s inner-city regeneration

Nolitha Fakude, chair of Anglo American’s Management Board, said they firmly believed that Johannesburg’s inner-city regeneration hinged on nurturing the potential of its young people, who represented the city’s future.

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She said the Maharishi Invincibility Institute has emerged as a driving force in paving pathways to opportunities for thousands of young people in the inner city, and it filled them with great pride to entrust them with the custodianship of the iconic 45 Main Street, a building that held deep historical significance in Johannesburg’s evolution.

“Looking beyond this, we are thrilled by the strides made in the last two years through collaborative efforts with various stakeholders,” said Fakude.

“Together, we have crafted a shared vision for Johannesburg’s renewal, culminating in establishing the Johannesburg CBD Coalition – a platform where the Maharishi Invincibility Institute also actively participates.

“This coalition serves as a powerful catalyst for change, fostering synergy among like-minded organisations, pooling their collective expertise, resources, and insights to forge a cohesive and actionable blueprint for the city’s rejuvenation.”

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Fakude added that since its inception in 2007, the Maharishi Invincibility Institute has offered “critical skills training to over 19 000 youth – most of whom were young black women – boasting a 90+% job placement rate”.

– lungam@citizen.co.za

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