R1-Million Boost for Lesabe Education Facility

Project start date: October 2011
Anticipated completion date: December 2011

Social Economic Development, or SED, has become a routinely used but misunderstood business buzzword.  Correctly applied, it focuses on projects that are both viable and sustainable in the long term and empower local communities.

In an exciting new development Carnival City and empowerment partner, the Afrisun Trust, have embarked on an SED project at the Lesabe Education Facility in Wattville that will positively impact on the lives of everyone involved.

The school, first started in 1952 by Mr Noel P. Mlokoti who was the only teacher at the time, currently caters for 512 learners, mostly from lower income homes.  After 46 years, the building is in desperate need of repairs and maintenance and to answer this need, the Afrisun Trust has undertaken to commit R1-million to the project.

Contractors and other service providers selected for the job are all small, BEE compliant local enterprises.  Many originally received support or financial funding from Carnival City to either develop their skills or to kick start their businesses.

The Afrisun Trust’s CEO Sandy Hattingh said of the project, “Our vision can be best summed up by the well known Confucius quote, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.  Through Carnival City’s assistance in developing and equipping small businesses we are now able to draw on local skills to assist us with our project.  This way we keep it local and skills and money are ploughed back into the community.  That’s the true essence of SED.”

While contractors will be paid for their services, they have also given back by agreeing to keep their prices within budget.  They are furthermore responsible for submitting detailed monthly progress and development reports to the school and the Afrisun Trust.  The Department of Education is also a keen overseer in the process.

The project will include:

  • Facilitating a basic computer training workshop for all educators to ensure they are proficient in using basic Microsoft programmes.
  • Upgrading of 18 classrooms and providing an outdoor area where youngsters can sit down to eat their lunch or study.
  • Providing an outdoor play centre for pre-school children, installing air conditioning units in the computer room, a motorised gate and intercom at the main entrance and shelving and storage space for media computer centre and science labs.
  • Refurbishing and repairing two ablution blocks.
  • Equipping the existing kitchen with plugs, lighting, plumbing, a skullery area, kitchen units and a gas stove.
  • Providing an outdoor study area for grade seven, plus a micro sports field for soccer, rugby, cricket, athletics track, netball and even outdoor chess
  • Planting a garden at the main entrance to the school, as well as gardens to surround the canteen and outdoor dining areas and a special garden for grade sevens.
  • Clearing up unused land and establishing a food tunnel garden and special worm compost system.  The garden will be planted up with seedlings and will be watered using a special irrigation system.  Onsite training, mentorship and basic landscape training will be given to those who are responsible for maintaining this area.  Four unemployed community members will be given the opportunity to turn the vegetable garden into a business.  After the needs of the school have been taken care of, they will be able to sell the remaining produce back to the community.
  • The Owl Box project will be introduced at the school as a way of teaching children respect for animals through rearing young owls, while simultaneously eliminating the rodent problem without the use of poisons.

Wattville is also an area of historical significance in South Africa as it was home to both Samora Machel, who went on to become the president of Mozambique, as well as OR Tambo who is also buried in the area.  The township forms part of the Department of Tourism’s struggle route and a brand new museum, information and technology centre is currently under construction at Leeupan.  Lesabe School is on the opposite side to the museum.