Our South Africa Manganese business has handed over the newly built Rearata Primary School to the Northern Cape Department of Basic Education at a ceremony in Kuruman and the community of Vergenoeg Village.
The R20 million school is part of South32’s Social and Labour Plan commitment in South Africa and will enrich the community by providing first rate educational facilities, including 14 newly built classrooms with a total capacity for 500 students. The facilities also include a library, fully equipped computer centre, nutrition block to provide meals for the students, ablution facilities, and an administration block.
The school was in a state of disrepair prior to the rebuild and had previously contained asbestos, potentially putting learners and educators at risk. It was rebuilt by a local 100 per cent Black-owned contractor and the construction phase created more than 40 temporary jobs for the local community.
South Africa Manganese Acting Vice President Operations, Barry Bezuidenhout said: “The handover of Rearata Primary School is a significant project for South32 and is a tangible example of a strategic partnership in action to fulfil SLP commitments. These partnerships benefit the local community, its residents and particularly its young people. It also brings together both private and public sector, local business and the Department of Education to realise an end goal which is to provide a brighter future and brighter prospects for the community.”
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said: “The Department of Basic Education is indeed extremely grateful for this investment by South32 to our learners in this area. Given the challenging socio-political environment we face as a country, which is characterised by high levels of unemployment, income inequality and increasing evidence of community frustration, it is important that all of us play an active role in finding a lasting solution – hence the appreciation of partnerships like this, where Government is able to partner with business, labour and local communities to build an inclusive economy that provides opportunities for all. We are most thankful for this beautiful donation, Rearata Primary School. I also want to emphasise yet again that the most effective, long-lasting partnerships are where partners not only enrich each other but also find ways to mutually benefit. Our partnership with South32 fits faultlessly within this framework of a mutually beneficial symbiosis between Government and the private sector.”
Education is one of the four focus areas of South32’s approach to community investment, which aims to develop sustainable communities for generations to come.