Pretoria, 22 September 2021: Eskom and Siemens partnered to uplift the lives of over 350 learners from the Arbor Community, 10 km from Kendal, by doing much-needed refurbishment at the Arbor Primary School.
This is a farm school which has 14 educators and six assistants for the school’s general administration and maintenance. The school is in the Victor Khanye Local Municipality.
In 2017, the municipality was one of the 147 municipalities in South Africa classified as an indigent municipality, meaning that a household as a family earns a combined income of less that R3 200 per month. The school also forms part of the National School Nutrition Programme, which provides one nutritious meal daily to all learners in poorer primary and secondary schools. The objective of providing nutritious meals to learners is to improve their ability to learn
The hand-over took place on 22 September 2021 in an event attended by Eskom Executive, Nthato Minyuku of the Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs Division, Cecil Ramonotsi Chief Executive Officer from the Eskom Development Foundation, and Yangaphe Ngcashi, General Manager of the Kendal Power Station. Also in attendance were Thabo Molokoa the Siemens Energy Chief Executive Officer, SM Mahlanguthe local Chief, and School Governing Body Chairperson SM Mahlangu, as well as local community members.
The scope covered the following as per the engineers’ assessment:
- Removing the floor tiles and replacing them with a more durable type
- Subdividing the hall into two classrooms
- Replacing the roof and ceiling in some of the classrooms
- Replacing chalk boards and installing new noticeboards in classrooms
- Refurbishing the ablution facilities, installing gutters and a water-trapping system
- Installing a security gate and a board displaying the school’s name
- Donating pairs of school shoes and socks
The total cost of the project was R2,7 million and over R150 000 went to local-to-site contractors. The refurbishment project also employed 29 local people from the community, thus creating much-needed job opportunities.
In her comments to the school, Eskom Group Executive, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Nthato Minyuku highlighted the importance of education to the children so that they could become drivers of the economy and added that refurbishing the school infrastructure was a catalyst for quality learning of our children.
Thabo Molekoa, Siemens Energy CEO, said: “While the school has been refurbished, it is important for learners to receive proper career guidance which will help them choose better careers for themselves. Eskom and Siemens need engineers in the future and these engineers must come from school such as the Arbor Primary School”.
The local chief, the SGB chairperson, the school principal and the learners all pledged to look after the school by ensuring regular maintenance for the proper upkeep of the school.
Eskom and Siemens have successfully collaborated in changing the lives of the children of the Arbor Community by investing in their education. Furthermore, Eskom has over the years continuously made significant contribution in assisting communities and the Department of Education through the Eskom Development Foundation to uplift the learning environment through the infrastructure upgrade projects. This is our way as Eskom of ensuring that we contribute back to the community in which we operate in, added Cecil Ramonotsi , CEO Eskom Development Foundation.
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