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Minister Motshekga joins AVBOB CEO to hand-over Joe Solomon Primary School in the Free State Province

Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, joined the CEO of AVBOB, Mr Carl Van der Riet, and board members to officially hand over the newly refurbished Joe Solomon Primary School in the Heidedal township in Bloemfontein, Free State on Friday, 15 October 2021.

The DBE, along with Provincial Departments, identified nine schools (one per province) to receive support from AVBOB to ensure major infrastructural improvements, in line with the Norms and Standards of the DBE. AVBOB’s commitment to the Schools Infrastructure Project traces its roots to Mandela Day in 2017, when AVBOB pledged R135 million towards upgrading and refurbishing schools across South Africa. A further R15 million was dedicated by AVBOB to the president’s Sanitation Appropriate For Education (SAFE) initiative in 2018.

Joe Solomon Primary School boasts state-of-the-art centres, including a Nutrition Centre, Media Centres and cutting-edge Science and Computer laboratories. The school has 1,401 learners, 6 administration staff, 42 educators and 26 supporting staff. AVBOB Mutual Assurance invested R45 million in this school’s refurbishment/rebuilding project alone, with 40% of the construction and labour budget invested in the local community and yielded more than 400 jobs during the construction phase. Free State MEC for Education, Mr Tate Makgoe, the Executive Mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Cllr Mxolisi Soyinzana and school principal, Mr Quentin Canavan were also in attendance.

“This official handover of the Joe Solomon Primary School, proudly sponsored by AVBOB, is an affirmation of the value of partnerships. We have long realised that delivering a better life for all requires partnerships amongst Government, businesses, and communities working towards the common goal of building better communities together. Joe Solomon Primary School is now a dignified learning space for future generations. The new school offers what is referred to as a positive school environment that inspires learners to want to come to school and learn and teachers to perform optimally,” said Minister Motshekga during the ceremony.

“Our partnership began in earnest in 2013 and has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. Today, AVBOB is one of the National Teaching Awards (NTA) sponsors, the National Senior Certificate Ministerial Awards and the National Spelling Bee, and the 1000 School Libraries Campaign. On behalf of the Government, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the AVBOB family. We thank you for your unrelenting efforts and sacrifice to the national cause to better the lives of our learners and, by implication, our underprivileged communities,” Minister Motshekga concluded. 

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