Menar Zwelonke High School 1

The new, permanent ablution facilities will improve health and hygiene standards at the school, enabling learners and teachers to have a better learning environment.

The handover forms part of ZAC’s Social and Labour Plan to upgrade the ablution facilities of several schools in the area, as part of efforts to improve hygiene and learning conditions at local schools.

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R1 million worth of new ablution facilities, which utilise a dry sanitation system owing to the water constraints faced by the school, were handed over to Zwelonke High School by Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC), a Menar Group Company, on Wednesday (9 September 2020).

Zwelonke High School is a government run school located in Mahlabathini, KwaZulu Natal, which is around 30 km from ZAC. The institution is classified as a rural education institution by the National Education Infrastructure Management System and has 1 068 male and female students in total.

“We receive water tanks from the municipality because there is no running water at the school. The school’s toilets previously comprised old pit toilets that often overflowed with raw sewerage, and therefore were a health and safety concern to learners and staff,” explained Zwelonke High School Principal Mr Philani Makhathini.

“We much appreciate ZAC’s donation of the new toilets to our school. It has substantially improved the status of hygiene and safety for our staff and learners. This project will also help us greatly in mitigating our staff and learners’ risk of contracting coronavirus.”

Grade 10 learner Thobeka Mkhize thanked ZAC on behalf of the learners at the school, while Department of Education Circuit Manager for Mahlabathini Xoliswa Cele lauded ZAC’s efforts stating:

“We are overwhelmed by ZAC’s support of the local education system. As a responsible corporate entity, the company is greatly assisting government by addressing a serious inequality faced by rural schools through the donation of modern toilet blocks to the school.”

The project comprises of the construction of 8 banks of block toilets for male and female teachers, disabled people and both male and female learners. Conrite Projects, was the contractor appointed by ZAC to undertake this project, and in so doing also employed 8 local labourers, a security night shift guard and a community liaison officer.

All sand, stone, cement and M140 blocks were purchased from local suppliers in the Ulundi area.

Menar chief operating officer, responsible for ZAC, Bradley Hammond explained:

“A need for school toilets was identified by local government, which is where the idea for this project arose. Despite ZAC currently being on care and maintenance, we have not paused our Social Labour Plan agreements, and are committed to assisting government to provide improved hygiene for several other local schools in area as well.”

Menar group social licensing manager Xolile Mankayi, added that the group was committed to carrying out such projects, that had long term benefits for learners and, which ensured that staff and learners could utilise the ablution facilities in dignity.