Coal exploration and mining company Canyon Coal, a subsidiary of investment company Menar, has opened a newly built Adult Basic Education Training (ABET) centre at its Khanye Colliery in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng, on 12 May 2021.
It will offer educational courses to local community members.
Gabisile Ntuli from Ekangala Ward 105, a participant in the programme, speaking at the opening, thanked Canyon Coal for making a meaningful difference in the lives of local community members and urged all her fellow ABET course participants to be diligent with their studies.
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“We must all make full use of this learning and development opportunity for the sake of our own betterment and the advancement of the lives of our families,” she asserted.
ABET forms part of the skills development commitment within the Social and Labour Plan (SLP) for Khanye Colliery. The aim of ABET is to develop the educational levels of the community through learning.
The programme offers all eligible community members opportunities to become functionally literate and numerate.
“Previously ABET participants attended courses at an external venue located near the mine in Bronkhorstspruit and later moved to Khanye Colliery’s training centre.
“This was not an ideal situation – which prompted the move to build a dedicated ABET centre,” explained Menar SLP manager Nthabiseng Ocia Mueti, speaking at the opening of the facility.
The ABET centre cost around R300 000 to build and includes a fully equipped lecture room that will accommodate a maximum number of 20 people (in accordance with COVID-19 spacing regulations), separate male and female bathrooms, as well as a lunch room.
The centre was built by a small local construction firm Zonke General Trading.
The first courses offered at the ABET centre will be communication in English (literacy) and mathematics (numeracy), starting from 17 May 2021 (communication) and 7 June 2021 (numeracy), respectively.
The selection of the 20 local community members participating in the courses has already been concluded.
Mueti said that: “Between 2015 and 2017, 60 leaners were trained in communication through Khanye Colliery’s ABET programme. While between 2018 and 2019, 9 groups of 15 people received training varying from Level 1 to Level 4 in numeracy and literacy.”
She highlighted that: “Menar and Canyon Coal believe that education empowers people with the knowledge and skills needed to build a better future for themselves. ABET courses play an active role in supporting the socio-economic development of communities by investing in the future through empowering local people with improved educational standards.”
The opening of the ABET centre was held in strict accordance with COVID-19 Alert level 1 regulations which included wearing of face masks, maintaining physical distances of 1. 5 metres and observing social gathering number limitations.