ArcelorMittal South Africa has officially handed over the R45m (EUR3.45m) state-of- the-art Mandela Park Primary School built in Slovo Park, Mthatha (Eastern Cape), to the Minister of Basic Education, Honourable Angie Motshekga and the community of Mthatha. The new school, which will accommodate 1,200 pupils, has been built using ArcelorMittal's alternative building technology based on steel.
"We are pleased to hand this gift to the pupils and community of Mthatha. We are excited to continue the legacy of our former president Nelson Mandela, who is firm in his belief that education is a key to future success. Providing quality facilities is a pillar to that success," said Nku Nyembezi-Heita, chief executive officer, ArcelorMittal South Africa. “As a company, we are proud to be the ones giving it to the community of Mthatha today," added Nyembezi-Heita.
The new facility is equipped with amenities such as a laboratory, a media centre with a computer room, eight vegetable tunnels, a garden, a fully equipped nutrition centre, two sports grounds, an administrative building with meeting rooms, offices for the principal and vice principal, staff room and a reception area.
In 2009, ArcelorMittal South Africa entered into a partnership with the Department of Basic Education with the aim of making a significant contribution by providing quality educational facilities in underprivileged areas across South Africa. This is the second school that has been built by ArcelorMittal South Africa and donated to an underprivileged community as part of the company's corporate social responsibility programme.
The first school to be built and donated was Meetse-A-Bopelo Primary School in Mamelodi (Pretoria East) which was handed over to the Department of Basic Education in November 2010.
ArcelorMittal's alternative building technology was developed together with Agrément South Africa, with a long term objective of making the system usable in multi-storey facilities.
The technology has many environmental advantages as the steel can be infinitely recycled and is quicker to construct than brick buildings.
Furthermore, the use of innovative Aral steel panels and alternative building technology is in line with the Government's objective to promote energy efficient and alternative cost-saving building methods. The material is also less labour intensive, has low carbon emissions, saves on water, reduces material wastage and is well insulated.
During the construction phase of Mandela Park Primary School, which started in late 2011, around 120 local community members were trained on how to use alternative building methods and gained employment opportunities through the project. These local contractors will potentially be employed for school maintenance or similar construction projects in the area in the future.
Want to know more?
Read ArcelorMittal South Africa’s corporate responsibility report 2012