Critical Free State school infrastructure completed

Poelano Primary School
Mofube Primary School

Schooling for thousands of Free State pupils is being drastically improved through the construction and rebuilding of school facilities by the Kagiso Shanduka Trust in partnership with the Free State Department of Education.

To provide both sustainable and superior teaching and learning environments and offset future maintenance costs, clay face brick was used for walling.

Musa Shangase, CBA Marketing Director, explained face brick construction made a perfect choice for school buildings. Importantly they will contribute to lowest lifecycle costs and obviate the durability and maintenance performance shortcomings widely associated with lightweight building technologies.

“Clay brick construction with clay face brick is so right and proper for school building. Enduring good looks aside, natural thermal properties are always on tap to help provide longest periods of thermal comfort and support best learner concentration on those long hot summer days. The high thermal mass of brick construction mitigates the ‘hotbox’ learning environments widely associated with insulated lightweight innovative building technologies (IBTs). Robustness to withstand normal wear and tear in ways that lightweight cannot, simply puts the cherry on the top of the brick offering to help ensure that monies that would be required for maintenance and refurbishment of lesser performing walling systems can be put to more valuable use,” said Shangase.

He explained that simply clay brick construction with face brick comprehensively addressed all the sustainability issues including fire and noise resistant, essential for providing quality safe school infrastructure for teachers to teach, learners to learn, socialise and play.

The Free State Department of Education, witnessing the increasing degradation of school infrastructure in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo Districts, decided to collaborate with Kangiso Shanduka Trust in an effort to provide the children of the Free State with optimum education facilities.

“We want to make education an empowering experience that equips learners with the skills and knowledge to thrive, while contributing to the development of our society,” explained Kealeboga Moremba, communications officer for Kagiso Shanduka Trust.

Four schools that form part of the five-year project have been completed. They are:

  • Seeisoville Primary School.
  • Meduwaneng Primary School.
  • SHS Mofube Primary School.
  • Poelano Primary School.

The aim of the project, being run by the Kagiso Shanduka Trust in partnership with the Free State Department of Education, is to transform 428 schools in the area.

Moremba explained that the needs of the different schools differ and their approach is adjusted to suit individual needs.

“All schools will receive the same basic high quality infrastructure such as ablution facilities, classrooms, desks and chairs to ensure minimum functionality at a school.”

She said incentive-based infrastructure is also provided as a reward to schools that achieve certain benchmarks as stipulated in the agreement.

Moremba explained that local community members are used for the construction of school infrastructure to encourage local job creation and empowerment. Masonry construction was the logical way to go to facilitate this, help skills transfer and the retention of useful skills within communities.

When deciding on which product to use for construction, Corobrik’s clay face brick range was chosen because of its durability as well as the aesthetic appeal.

“We want these learners and future generations of learners to be educated in spaces that feel safe and look appealing,” she explained.

Corobrik provided about 10 million bricks for the construction of classrooms, ablution facilities, science and computer laboratories and halls at hundreds of Free State Schools.

PICTURE CREDIT: Kagiso Shanduka Trust