Tumelo Waga Dibakwane
The General Electric’s (GE) Steam Power has set aside R20 million to assist in removing asbestos classrooms and infrastructure upgrading around Mpumalanga.
GE Steam Power is a cleaner power generating company that conducts its operations in Mpumalanga.
The company’s Executive Project Director Nthabiseng Khubheka said the initiative, which forms part of GE’s school infrastructure upgrade project, also helps the school meet the norms and standards of the School Infrastructure Regulations.
Khubheka said recently, more than 1,000 learners at Thushanang Primary School in Bushbuckridge, benefited from General Electrical school infrastructure upgrades.
She said the company strived to uplift the communities where it does business through various initiatives including skills training and local supplier development.
“We recognise that to make a sustainable impact, we must be deliberate in our efforts to support social change. We have been supporting schools in the province through upgrades since 2013”, said Kubheka.
“A safe and healthy environment aids learning and contributing towards the reduction of asbestos in schools helps achieve this. The impact, we believe, will be felt by not only by the learners and educators but the entire community” she said.
In addition to the removal of the harmful material from the building, GE also identified the need to improve the facilities.
“Over and above the removal of the asbestos, we found that the school had insufficient ablution blocks and no kitchen area. To deal with this, we will provide new ablutions, equipment for the kitchen as well as improve the outdoor recreational spaces, provide an outdoor assembly area, tuck shop, and a vegetable garden,” added Kubheka.
Meanwhile, the company is also involved in supporting the development of local businesses. GE has contracted the services of Pegasus Civil Construction to lead the upgrades.
The company has further committed to sub-contract a minimum of 25% of the work to local SMEs and employ within the community.