ECDoE partners with mining companies to eradicate infrastructure woes

Posted on Tuesday, 06 April 2021

By Dineo Matroko

Category: Latest News


Laying a solid foundation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution through delivering Information Communication Technology (ICT), is gaining momentum as the Eastern Cape Department of Education’s MEC recently received two donations from private partners meant to benefit rural schools like Milton Mbeleka Senior Secondary School. 

This Qunu secondary (Wilton Nbekela) and Khanyolwethu Senior Secondary School in the outskirts of Engcobo, last week each received the state of the art science center and a new Technological advanced ablution facilities.

Anglo Gold Ashanti Senior Project Manager, Sipho Fuphaza handed over a science lab worth R2 million to the Wilton Mbeleka community. 

Fuphaza explained why they chose this specific school for the donation and said, “It was through the integrated plan of the local municipality and it was a way to help give a boost to those communities with former mine workers, the lab is to help enhance marks in mathematics and science studies for the learners.”

Whilst Liquid Gold’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Orion Lee Herman handed over ablution facilities to the MEC for Khanyolwethu at a cost of R450 000. LiquidGold is not new in such partnership as this one with the department started in 2016. Herman explained how his company selects schools to donate to these state of the art ablutions.

“We had asked the department to provide us with urgent projects and those that pose the biggest health risk and safety in schools, and Khanyolwethu was at that list. The school's infrastructure was just not suitable hence the intervention,” said Herman.

As to why the LiquidGold toilets are different from the rest, Herman stated that “the facilities are completely waterless and they separate urine from fecal metal and creates natural fertilizer, there’s also a new urinal stand which allows women to pass urine without seating and touching bacteria. It makes it safer for learners during this Covid times,” said Herman.

Herman also stated that the projects assisted in creating job opportunities in these communities “because we at LiquidGold realize that there is no silver bullet to solve these infrastructure issues and that the government needs private partners to come in and help where possible.

The 14-toilet structure comes with a genitor from the local community that is trained on how to maintain the facilities and will be remunerated monthly for 24 months.” Added Herman.

MEC Fundile Gade warmly received these generous donations on behalf of the said communities from the partners. Gade encouraged the communities to start doing things for themselves in order to eradicate poverty or at least try by supporting each other.

Gade said, “I feel the need to come back to OR Tambo and Chris Hani West District, to meet and talk with relevant stakeholders to see how we can find a way to plough back into communities.

The villagers need to find a way on how to recycle funds from the government. For an example, every rand spent on nutrition funding needs to benefit these communities.  This community needs to start projects like food gardens, sell it to the school and stop these shortcuts of buying from Chian stores food that could have been produced locally and sold to schools,” emphasised Gade.

The MEC concluded by thanking the donors for also responding to the clariilon call to make education a societal matter.


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