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May 2021 2nd edition

Partnering to improve school infrastructure 

Written by: More Matshediso

The Motsepe Foundation has committed over R84 million to help improve infrastructure at underserved schools. Minister Angie Motshekga with a learner from Sekano- Ntoane High School in Soweto, following a donation of R300 000 by the Motsepe Foundation.

Social partners such as the Motsepe Foundation help the Department of Basic Education address challenges of inadequate school infrastructure. 

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga expresses gratitude to the foundation, which recently donated R300 000 to each of the 27 public schools in Soweto so that they can address challenges that affect teaching and learning. 

In total, 283 schools across the country are expected to receive the same donation. 

“We are acutely aware of the enormous backlogs in the provision of the necessary infrastructure to schools in disadvantaged communities. As the government, we are unable to meet all these growing educational needs, hence our partnership with the private sector, including the Motsepe Foundation,” the Minister says. 

Sekano-Ntoane High School in Soweto is one of the schools that received the donation. Deputy Principal Pinky Maluleka says three projects have been earmarked to improve the school facilities. 

She says the school is over 50 years old and its roof leaks and needs to be replaced.

“We also need to upgrade our toilets because we lose a lot of money by constantly fixing one thing after the other,” she adds. 

Maluleka says the school also needs to invest in security because it has had a few break-ins in the past.  

She says because this is a no-fee school, which depends on government to keep the school running, whenever there are break-ins, the school relies on government for repairs and that sometimes takes time. 

“The thieves are targeting school nutrition products, so we need to secure our facilities and install security cameras,” she explains. 

The school is one of the oldest in Soweto and has produced many political leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Motshekga. It is currently providing education to 1 300 learners and has 27 teachers and is one of the top achievers in its district.  

Minister Motshekga says changing the fortune of South Africa requires a collective effort and encourages more business people to invest in the future of the country.