Media Announcements

Ledig schools refurbishment project is officially completed and handed over to the community by Wesizwe Platinum

24 June 2013

On Monday 24 June, following months of substantial refurbishment work coordinated and sponsored by Wesizwe Platinum as part of its Social Labour Plan commitment, eight local schools in the Ledig area were officially handed back to their Principals, but in a much-improved condition. The schools involved in this important community project were Bakgofa Intermediate School, Bakubung Primary School, Itumeleng Secondary School, Mperebere Primary School, Mphuphute Primary School, Ratheo Intermediate School, Tshose Intermediate School and Tswaidi High School.

This School Infrastructure Project forms an integral part of Wesizwe’s Social and Labour Plan, and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed back in 2009 between Wesizwe Platinum and the Department of Education. Under that MOU, Wesizwe committed to proceed with the development of school infrastructure in the Ledig community. The project has been a real example of cooperation and strategic partnership between all the parties involved, including Wesizwe Platinum, the DOE and the School Governing Bodies representing each of the 8 schools selected for the project. In addition, a Provincial Steering Committee formed to regularly update the partnership on project progress, has achieved its goals, reporting challenges experienced during the project term, answering questions from key stakeholders, and addressing any concerns.

The nature of the refurbishment project was extensive in its scope, but included a range of works to meet the needs of individual schools, including repairs to building infrastructure, repainting, upgrading of electrics, upgrading of toilet and washroom facilities, upgrading of fire equipment, upgrading of sanitation infrastructure. Despite numerous challenges during the project implementation phase, including incidences of theft and vandalism at the schools, there was greater cooperation from the Principals of each of the eight schools in the refurbishment programme.

Each Principal worked closely with the Wesizwe Platinum Team to identify and agree the developmental needs of their schools. The Principals also provided support for local SMMEs during the construction phase and accommodated contractors in those cases where there were project overlaps in the implementation programme. The school learners themselves have continued to show great excitement and enthusiasm towards the renovations of their learning facilities.

Speaking at the school handover ceremony, Wesizwe Platinum CEO, Mr Jianke Gao, said: "Such initiatives play an important role in our business as they represent a tangible reflection of our corporate Vision, Purpose and Values. Each day, our efforts to realize our vision of becoming a significant multi-commodity mining company, with a focus on strategic metals with sound derived demand fundamentals, can be seen in the way we look to create shareholder value in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. This is based on a proactive foundation of building long-term relationships with both government and the local communities in which we operate."

This particular SLP project has demonstrated a truly shared approach and great understanding amongst all stakeholders involved in the Schools Refurbishment Project. The experience has created a continuing expression of commitment from the Ledig school community as a whole to ensuring that good learning facilities are provided for the young learners of the Ledig community well into the future. The social impact of this particular project is substantial, with 4271 local learners and 140 educators now able to attend daily classes in a highly conducive and pleasant learning environment – this bodes well for their future development and prospects.

Mr Gao added: "As South Africa faces a continuing challenge of addressing critical skills shortages in the mining sector, there is a very real need to ensure a future pipeline of highly qualified, experienced and skilled young people. Our company is committed to finding practical solutions to such challenges by creating and supporting specialist training, development, apprenticeship and bursary programmes. This approach will ensure the community’s young people have access to future opportunities to develop their skills and become key contributors to the future success of the mining industry in the North West Province and in South Africa as a whole".

For further information, contact:
Mr Tebogo Matima
Stakeholder Relations Manager
Wesizwe Platinum Limited
Mobile: +27(82) 770 7576
Tel: +27(14) 573 4908/9
Fax: 014 573 4910

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