Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) and the Department of Mineral Resources, officially handed over a newly revamped school in Manthe village in Taung to the Provincial Department of Education & Sport Development. Manthe Primary School is an all-inclusive school which also accommodated physically disabled, moderate mentally challenged and deaf learners.
The school was identified by the Department of Education as unfit for use as the facilities were dilapidated. Following extensive consultations and needs analysis by the company with the Department of Education, the Baphudunucwana Traditional Council was approached and the proposed project was approved.
Amplats, as part of its Social & Labour Plan initiatives, made a resolution to fund the building of a modern educational facility including twelve classrooms, an administration block for the educators, a multi-purpose technical centre, male and female ablution facilities including paraplegic-friendly facilities, a computer laboratory, a library and counselling facilities.
The company also constructed a block to accommodate the National School Nutrition Programme with an additional tuck-shop facility, an assembly facility to accommodate 500 learners and grade R facilities. To encourage a sporting culture, a sports complex including a soccer field, netball and volleyball courts were included in the project.
A water reticulation system was also constructed to ensure that recycled water is used for gardening and ablution facilities. The new facility also boasts a new parking area, with site works that include a drainage system, landscaping and gardening, walkways and a flagpole.
Amplats ensures that it makes a meaningful impact in the communities it operates in, not only developing infrastructure for education, but through enterprise development and support of local businesses. Through this project, the company ensured that the main contractor was locally based and that they had capacity to mentor and upskill four small local contractors that were identified to benefit from the project.
In total 139 members of the community received opportunities for temporary employment, 21 of which are females. A total of 63 youth was also employed.
Chris Griffith, CEO of Amplats commented at the hand-over ceremony, “As a company we are committed to supporting the achievement of socio-economic development goals in mine host and labour sending communities and ensure a sustainable future. Our initiatives have a pertinent focus on sustainability of education, health, job creation, infrastructure, enterprise development and stakeholder capacity building.”
“The role the company plays in furthering universal primary education in South Africa is vital and no community must be neglected, however small, because every child has the right to receive quality education and develop a rewarding career.”
Dr Thibedi Ramontja, Director General at the DMR concludes: “The completion of this school demonstrates how partnership between government and the private sector can benefit the communities.”