New school goes up outside Phalaborwa

19 June 2018  Read: 151


The need for an air conditioner in 2015 set off a chain of events that materialised in foundations being thrown for a school in the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality three weeks ago.  The fast growing new Boelang Community consists of some 4, 000 people under Kgoshi (local king) Andries Malatji. Some 250 children walk 17km to school and this includes crossing a river. The bush, surrounding the footpaths, makes the children easy targets for criminals and there have been several rape cases.

Architect Charles Hartman became involved through his air conditioning business in Phalaborwa. He brought the Induna, DemetrIus Malatji, an air conditioner and from there met and presented the Kgoshi with an air conditioner. The Kgoshi wanted a safe school in the Boelang Community for the children. Meetings to discuss the school took place in the Induna’s back garden under the maroela tree.  A community committee was established to conduct surveys of the numbers of residents, learners and proximity of existing school.

Foskor mine put up R5-million and Barloworld R500, 000.00. Foskor is overseeing the project as Charles is now mainly in the Haenertsburg area.  The location of the school was established in the centre of the Boelang Community and the respective plots were demarcated for the project.

Charles set about the conceptual side of the design process and designed the school layouts and typical classroom structure. The classrooms introduce colour, varying window shapes, form a quadrangle to contain the smaller children and a security gate system. The school hall doubles up as a village hall and there are playing fields.

There will be 16 classrooms, including an Early Learning Centre, from Grades R to Grade 7. The building has been designed in such a way that the roof can be lifted and another storey added as grades are added. There’s also provision for JoJo tanks and solar panels.

The layout of the school is in the shape of an “A” for the Kgoshi Andries Malatji and the school is called Makatikele School. This is Andries’s name in his language. Charles designed the school logo, with the motto ‘education is my right’ initially with a lion. He had to go back to the drawing board as the Kgoshi’s tribal emblem is a porcupine. Charles’s further vision is that the children have uniforms, with the porcupine logo, so that the children are easily identifiable.

The school will be completed by January 2019. Charles said that thanks in realising this project are due to many including the Department of Health and Planning, the Department of Education, Jannie Meintjies of Ilanga, Yolande van der Merwe  and Jantjie Bessenger from Growth on PMC as well as Abraham Lewaba from Foskor.



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