The new building of the oldest school in Heidedal, Joe Solomon Primary, has officially been unveiled after being shut in 2017 to be demolished and rebuilt.
The school was initially constructed with asbestos. The first task of the construction project, which was funded by Avbob, was to demolish the old school building, safely discarding all hazardous material and preparing to rebuild from scratch.
According to the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, who attended the unveiling, the school infrastructure investment contributed to the department’s quest to replace schools built with inappropriate structures (asbestos classrooms) with a fit-for-purpose, stateof-the-art building that boasts modern laboratories.
“The school now boasts brand-new state-of-the-art centres, including a brand-new nutrition centre, media centres and cutting edge science and computer laboratories,” Motshekga said.
She added that the modern toilets that conform to the norms and standards of the basic education sector are the most pleasing. To address the perennial issues of school safety, new perimeter fencing has been installed.
“It is clear to us that Avbob takes corporate citizenship and transformation seriously; hence the company already boasts Level 2 B-BBEE contributors with a workplace that comprises 70% women.”
“The newly erected school will definitely be a benefit to Joe Solomon’s community. Especially the multi-purpose room, the science lab as well as the combined computer and library room for each phase. Most of our learners will be exposed to so much more technology to broaden their career paths in the future,” said Quentin Canavan, Principal of Joe Solomon.
Avbob director, Nakedi Pilane, explained that on Mandela Day in July 2017, the group announced a pledge to invest R150 million toward the renovation, refurbishment and upgrading of schools across the country. “This project is known as the Avbob Schools Infrastructure Project and has a total value of more than R270 million. The project is aligned with the department’s Accelerated School’s Infrastructure Delivery Initiative.”
Carl van der Riet, Avbob’s CEO, proudly highlighted to the educators of the school that their tireless efforts on behalf of the learners will decide nothing less than the future success of the country. “To the people of Heidedal, I have come to realise that local communities are a fundamental part and cornerstone of a successful school. As joint owners of this school, the future is now in your hands to ensure that this school is well-utilised and produces the leaders and achievers that South Africa needs.”