South32 Hotazel Manganese Mines has handed over the newly-built Rearata Primary School to the Northern Cape Department of Basic Education and the community of Vergenoeg Village.
The R20m school is part of South32’s Social and Labour Plan (SLP) commitment and will enrich the community by providing first rate educational facilities including 14 newly-built classrooms with a dedicated Grade R learning centre and a total capacity of 500 learners.
The plan aims to improve the quality of lives for host communities and ensure their sustainability beyond the life of mine. To date, South32 Hotazel Manganese Mines has spent over R64m under their current SLP which ends in June 2023.
The facilities at the Rearata Primary School include a library, fully-equipped computer centre, nutrition block to provide meals for the learners, ablution facilities and an administration block.
According to the company, “the school was in a state of disrepair prior to the rebuild and had previously contained asbestos, potentially putting learners and educators at risk”. The school was rebuilt by a local 100% Black-owned contractor and the construction phase created more than 40 temporary jobs for the local community.
Other educational projects supported by South32 Hotazel Manganese Mines in the Northern Cape include the R3.3m robotics programme which has been rolled out through 12 schools in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District as well as the Maths and Science program which offers extra lessons to high school learners within the district.
South32 acting vice president for operations Barry Bezuidenhout commented: ”The handover of Rearata Primary School is a significant project for South32 and is a tangible example of a strategic partnership in action in terms of fulfilling 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.”