A day on which good must take centre stage

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This year’s Mandela Day at Madibatlou School in Olifantsfontein marked the celebration of a relationship with construction group Stefanutti Stocks that has, over the past three years, grown from strength to strength. In addition to hundreds of employees participating in a broad-range of renovation activities on Saturday 16 July, the relationship was further cemented by the timely approval of school expansion plans, submitted by Stefanutti Stocks in 2015 to the Gauteng Department of Education.

Madibatlou Middle School is a farm school located on the Sundown Farm, just off the Apollo Road in Olifantsfontein, Gauteng. The school was originally established in 1972 and over the past four decades has grown to such an extent that in 1999 the school grounds were donated to the Department of Education, on the proviso that the ground would be used for the school. Currently 1 871 scholars, hailing from nearby farming communities and informal settlements, and ranging from Grade R to Grade 9, attend Madibatlou. The school’s 44 educators teach classes ranging from 27 to 68 pupils in size, with an average of about 51 per class. One of Stefanutti Stocks’ objectives for its relationship with the school is to improve and increase its infrastructure in order for it to be able to accommodate its scholars within a conducive learning environment.

“Our relationship with Madibatlou School affords us the opportunity to not only invest in an educational initiative, it also allows us to contribute towards developing an infrastructure that supports education in mathematics and science - two subjects that are key to the sustainability of our industry,” explains Stefanutti Stocks Group HR Executive Mike Sikhakhane.

In 2015 Stefanutti Stocks submitted architectural drawings and building expansion plans for a science laboratory and additional classrooms at Madibatlou School to the Gauteng Department of Education. “We received approval for our expansion plans on Friday, 15 July, and we hope to be able to complete these additions by year end, so that the scholars will be able to utilise the new facilities from the first term in 2017.”

School principal Mr Kgabo Molokomme was elated to receive the news and expressed his  appreciation of the continued relationship with Stefanutti Stocks. “There is a saying that you can only find happiness once you become aware that you are being loved in the state that you are. As a farm school that is geographically quite isolated from the rest of the community, especially Tembisa, it is a wonderful thing for us, when people remember us and contribute in a positive way.”

On Saturday, 16 July, Molokomme welcomed hundreds of Stefanutti Stocks employees and their families, who had the choice to participate in any of the seven work stations set up across the school property. These included the revamp of the Grade R block classrooms; painting and decorating classrooms in need of a facelift; painting and assembly of desks; security upgrades to the storage room and guard’s house; palisade painting and remedial work to the sports field; as well as an overhaul of the existing vegetable garden, which supports the school’s feeding scheme.

In order to increase the impact of the intervention Stefanutti Stocks also contracted DZANGALWE Construction & Services to undertake some of the preparatory as well as remedial work the school urgently required. “As we are unable to do all we intend to within just one day, we sub-contracted one of our black women owned Enterprise Development partners to assist with the renovation preparation as well as to complete some of the remedial work,” explains Sikhakhane.

On the CSI front, Stefanutti Stocks committed R3-million towards group coordinated Socio-Economic Development (SED) initiatives, both in this and the previous financial year. This year that amount is being distributed to three main projects: 

  • The Love Trust, in support of a model school, opened in early July, for the disadvantaged in Tembisa;
  • The Madibatlou School in Olifantsfontein, where in addition to much needed maintenance and minor renovations a new science laboratory and additional classrooms will be built; and
  • The Mabuya Secondary School in Daveyton where in addition to maintenance and renovations a new roof was fitted, to replace the badly leaking roof of a block of classrooms.

“The majority of South Africans share Mr Mandela’s dream for a South Africa where the good will supersede the bad. There are so many ways that private and corporate citizens contribute to the positive development of our country, and I believe that the more we allow for good to take centre stage, the more we will quash the negative voices,” concludes Sikhakhane.

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