Pupils at Inkululeko Yesizwe Primary School in Vlakfontein near Lawley, Gauteng, are relishing using the school’s first brick and mortar classroom block and ablution facilities.

The R1.5 million project, which was first envisioned in 2010, goes towards fulfilling the duty required by government that all mining corporations get involved in the development of the local community.

However, Corobrik’s Lawley factory manager, Andreas Ntseki, said, more than this, Corobrik’s employees were excited to be involved in such a worthwhile initiative.

“We find a lot of joy in doing this work,” said Ntseki. “It is a costly job but it is so appreciated by the local community that we are proud to have accomplished what we have.”

The school, which has an enrolment of 1 347 learners from Grade R to Grade 7, is based in the Vlakfontein township.

Putting education back in the classroom  

According to Ntseki the school was made up of entirely prefabricated classrooms which were in a state of severe disrepair.

“The buildings are suspended on stands and some of the classrooms had holes in the floor which was extremely dangerous for the learners. This meant that some of the children had to be taught outside.”

He said the ablution facilities were also severely lacking and desperately needed to be replaced.

The 186 m² buildings were constructed using two of Corobrik’s face bricks; the Montana Travertine and Nebraska Travertine.

“The Montana Travertine is a red and blue brick which was used for the bottom of the buildings so as not to show dirt,” explained Ntseki.

“The Nebraska Travertine is a yellow or cream brick and was used from the windows upwards. The two colours worked really well together to provide lively contrast that will stand the test of time and assure a lifetime of low maintenance.”

Corobrik a trusted favourite

Ntseki said more and more social infrastructure buildings are being constructed using Corobrik’s face bricks because of the proven sustainability, aesthetic appeal and superior comfort conditions, safety and security that clay walls provide.

The school’s energetic principal, Ndifelani Mamphoto, said the staff and learners were ecstatic with the newly-constructed facilities.

“All the learners want to be taught in the new building. They are actually running to the classrooms because they are one of a kind and a wonderful place to study.”