[South Africa] PetroSA transforms Eastern Cape mud school into modern learning facility
PetroSA , the Petroleum, Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa, has donated R4 million for the complete reconstruction of the Maseleni Junior Secondary School, at Ntsetshe Village, Dutywa, in the Eastern Cape. The newly-built school boasts an administration block, three modern classrooms and ablution facilities. Educators and learners previously relied on a dilapidated mud structure to serve as both classrooms and an administration block. A pit latrine served as toilet facilities for learners and educators. The school has 130 learners.
The donation is part of PetroSA’s dynamic Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme. The programme supports countrywide initiatives aimed at alleviating impoverished communities, the empowerment of women and assists in the construction of health, education and environmental sustainability infrastructure. Since inception, PetroSA has invested R356 million towards these initiatives.
Recent initiatives include, investing R1, 5 million towards the modernisation and refurbishment of 21 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in the Southern Cape. Others are the construction of a R6 million state-of-the-art youth centre in Great Brak, Mossel Bay. PetroSA is also constructing a R14 million Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) at Qamata, near Cofimvaba. An IeC is a Department of Energy-led initiative to equip rural areas with facilities that offer energy services like petroleum products and electricity, among others.
The Maseleni Junior Secondary School facility took eight months to construct. During the construction phase, all the labourers utilised were sourced from the village and its surrounding areas. More than 50 village residents were appointed during the construction period.
The newly-constructed facilities were on August 28 2017, officially handed over to the school by the Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi.
Kholly Zono, PetroSA’s Acting Group CEO, said the project was a manifestation of the Company’s long-standing commitment to community development.
“As PetroSA, we are totally committed, despite our challenges, to ensuring that we play a meaningful role in developing historically disadvantaged communities. We could not stand by and watch, while the children of Ntsetshe Village were being educated in a mud structure,” he said.
“We had to step in to ensure decency and respectability was restored for the learners and educators,” Mr Zono added.
Maseleni Junior Secondary principal, Monica Sifuba, has welcomed the PetroSA donation as a life-changing development for Ntsetshe village.
“The community has benefited from when construction began, as jobs were created for the village. It feels good for us to now be able to teach our learners in normal classrooms. We are now proud of our beautiful school,” she said.