By Marlie Coetzee

The Virtuele Instituut vir Afrikaans was founded to enable the ideal of ensuring that Afrikaans will be able to operate in its high functions twenty, fifty, and even a hundred years from now.

VivA’s mission is to develop a technological language world for Afrikaans. Every day, we toil for the Afrikaans language and our users, and every year we aim to push the technological language boundaries of Afrikaans locally and internationally in new, innovative ways.

VivA has the privilege of welcoming venture capitalist André Pienaar as our new, international funder. André is the chief executive and founder of C5 Capital, and a shareholder in the new Nuwe Vrye Weekblad media group.

It is gratifying that someone of André’s stature recognises the value and importance of VivA’s work and is willing to support our dream. He is an international businessman with companies in Africa, Europe, the UK and the US, and holds shares in some of the most innovative cybersecurity, nuclear and space economy companies such as Cassava Technologies, Axiom Space and X-energy.

André had reached out to Marlie Coetzee, the executive director of VivA, as far back as May 2020 and declared his willingness to get involved with the company. Over the past three years, the relevant discussions were held and André’s investment representative, Reine Opperman, has been serving on VivA’s board since 1 June this year.

This is why André decided to become involved with VivA, in his own words:

“I am excited to support VivA in the development of Afrikaans for everyday use and for the future. Afrikaans, like all South Africa’s indigenous languages, gives people a voice in which to comfort, build and dream. My contribution will specifically be used for the development of Afrikaans in the fields of technology, clean energy, and space economy – three parts of the economy that have great potential for job creation, training and safety.

“As part of my partnership with VivA, we are launching a dynamic new programme centred on the empowerment of Afrikaans-speaking female leaders. These women make a valuable contribution to South Africa’s prosperity and future. With this new programme, we aim to do more to recognise, appreciate and support their contributions.”

The VivA team welcomes André’s visionary thinking. We look forward to continuously delivering new and innovative products and services to our users.