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PPC enables much needed Grade R schooling in Riebeek Valley

PPC today unveiled its sponsorship of Grade R classrooms at the Meiring and Riebeek West primary schools in Riebeek Valley, near Malmesbury in the Western  Cape. The construction of these classrooms addresses the critical need for the introduction of Grade R schooling in this area.  The initiative will benefit over 120 learners initially, served by four educators.  The basic education department requires that all primary schools in South Africa must have integrated Grade R facilities by 2014. 

PPC’s funding of the Grade R classrooms is part of its commitment to youth development and education, both locally and nationally and is also part of the cement giant’s Transformation Strategy.  Prior to PPC’s involvement, children were accommodated at numerous crèche facilities, but these by nature do not address early development and the educational requirements of the department. 

The project is in alignment with the Riebeek Mine’s LED programme and the Department of Education’s Early Childhood Development strategy, which identified much needed local infrastructure development at pre-school level. “Studies have indicated that learners attending grade R classes had a definite advantage in literacy and numeracy at certain schools” added Sello Helepi, PPC Transformation Executive.  “We feel it is our duty to contribute positively to the development of the communities we operate in, most of which are in underserved rural areas, but we are particularly proud to be making such a tangible difference to the lives of the children.”  

Whilst it is not currently compulsory yet for children to attend grade R classes, it has been deemed crucial that children start schooling at an early age.  “Grade R education will be compulsory from 2014 as it provides a sound foundation for children as they enter their first year of formal schooling,” added Helepi.  “The two schools will thus be among the first in the West Coast area to meet the new requirement.” These educational infrustructure projects form part of the PPC Riebeeck Mine’s Social and Labour Plan and are implemented by PPC in partnership with the Department of Mineral Resources, the Department of Basic Education and the Swartland Local Municipality.   

PPC  is spending over R60 million in similar community upliftment projects across the country in the next five years as part of its Social and Labour Plans. PPC is committed to the development and sustainability of the communities in which it operates, the majority of which are located in the rural areas.

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