R18 million upgrade in education

Sibongamandla Secondary School receives a R18 million boost

Struggling school receives aid
Much needed funding for Mpumalanga education

Anglo American's Thermal Coal’s Kriel operation has demonstrated its commitment to social development with an R18 million upgrade and expansion project at the Sibongamandla Secondary School in Thubelihle. Run in partnership with the Mpumalanga Department of Education, the project is scheduled for completion in February 2014 and will cater for the educational needs of the area’s growing population.

 

The school is overcrowded and lacks facilities, including sports fields, laboratories and a library. Thermal Coal decided as part of its Social and Labour Plan (SLP) to get involved when it was found that prefabricated classrooms are built with material containing asbestos which poses a health risk to the school’s 1,134 learners.

 

The Department of Education will build new classrooms while the mine will be responsible for the construction of an administration block, fencing, ablution facilities, a kitchen and fully equipped science laboratory.

 

Principal Bhekithemba Ndlala could not contain his delight when construction began. “We now walk tall and feel as though we are approaching the new South Africa.”

 

Construction work commenced in July, and is being undertaken by 45 local people who have been trained and provided with the necessary skills that will make them employable after the project is completed.

 

 

“Through consultation with the people of Thubelihle we identified this project as one that would make a meaningful difference. Social development is a legislative requirement of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and the Mining Charter. However, we do not believe in mere compliance, but going beyond compliance and making a sustainable difference.“

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