Lafarge, a world leader in building materials, believes in helping to bring about sustainable transformation of the communities in which it operates. Achieving this in South Africa depends on creating an improved education environment for the country’s children. One of Lafarge South Africa’s wide ranging interventions in the education field was the recent construction of a new administration block and general facilities at the disadvantaged Ntsonkotha Senior Secondary School in Agnes Rest, a small village located near Lady Frere, in the Eastern Cape.

“At Lafarge, we view education as vital to the future of the country and to the success of our company,” comments Lafarge South Africa Country CEO, Thierry Legrand.

“We hope that our support for Ntsonkotha School will enable the educators and learners to achieve even better results in the years to come.“

Through corporate social investment, Lafarge has consistently provided a spectrum of education interventions in schools and other learning institutions, from infrastructural development, social and academic skills development, learner sponsorships and exposure to post-study opportunities. A key focus area has been empowering administrators, educators and parents, to enable them to take ownership of their schools. This ultimately creates a sustainable better future for pupils and the community. In the case of Ntsonkotha, the immediate need was for upgraded infrastructure, which would have a positive impact on the lives of the learners and educators.

“Witnessing the plight of schools in the Eastern Cape, we decided we should approach the Department of Basic Education to see how we could assist,” explains Esther Seabi, Transformation Manager, Lafarge South Africa. “Addressing the dilapidated facilities of the Ntsonkotha Secondary Senior School was identified as a priority project in the Department’s Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative.”

Lafarge constructed a 280 square metre administration building, consisting of offices for the principal and deputy principal, a staff room, a strong room, a stockroom, a fully-equipped kitchen and sick bay, plus reception area. In addition, the company furnished the entire facility and added an external storage room.

Delighted Ntsonkotha School Principal Mfaku comments: “It seems only a short while ago that we were utterly desperate about the state of our facilities. Now, it is amazing to see these new buildings going up. It is making such an improvement to the morale of the school. The educators are more confident and so are the learners, which will have a positive effect on the overall results. Thank you Lafarge!”