Mandela’s legacy was evident at the KwaZulu-Natal based Isnembe Secondary School on Thursday, 18 July as community members, school and Department of Education representatives, as well as generous sponsors united for the official opening of the area’s first multipurpose centre. Built using the donation of 65 000 of Corobrik’s Eston bricks, the multipurpose centre will serve, not only the school pupils and staff, but the upper Tongaat community, for many years to come
We are so happy to be joining the Tongaat community to celebrate Mandela Day with such a momentous occasion,” said Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s Commercial Director. “Corobrik supports Madiba’s ideals of education and community enrichment by contributing, wherever we can, to building solid education facilities that benefit residents in our areas of operation. I would like to congratulate the staff, and all those involved, in establishing this multipurpose centre that will, no doubt, serve as a place to promote skills and knowledge to future generations.”
The multipurpose structure was built using Corobrik’s bricks in a design that correlates with existing buildings, while bringing its own, modern aesthetic. The building consists of a large hall space, stage, storeroom, changeroom and outdoor patio. Some of the remaining Corobrik bricks were used to build an exterior wall to secure a lower drop.
Dr D Singh from the Department of Education, Infrastructure Planning and Development endorsed the benefit the new hall would make to the school and the local community.
The school – which celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2018 - serves the local community’s 585 children, ranging from Grade R to Grade 9. Located in a rural area just 20 kilometres from Tongaat, Isnembe is a no-fee school with the majority of pupils coming from low-income households and grant recipients with the school providing daily meals to every child.
Kavita Rajaram, Deputy Principal of Isnembe Secondary School and Project Manager, said the idea for the multipurpose centre originated 11 years back, but time constraints and securing donations only saw construction begin in 2018.
“Although there is a centre in a nearby area, this is a first for the upper Tongaat region and will prove extremely useful to both the school and community,” explained Rajaram. She elaborated, stating that the space will be used for workshops, adult literacy and skills’ development to empower unemployed community members. Staff workshops and school performances would also be hosted here. In addition to this, the school can now secure much-needed income through venue hire.
“The opening coinciding with Mandela Day was very much planned because Madiba’s legacy is what this is all about,” she continued. “It’s the community coming together with all the generous souls who contributed to the creation of this centre. The community being served is impoverished, which makes this even more of a welcome addition.”
Rajaram extended her heartfelt thanks to Corobrik, as well as the other sponsors who contributed to the development, including The Divine Life Society of South Africa; The South African Muslim Charitable Trust; Metier; and The Doornkloof School Trust.
“From the principal, school governing body, staff, learners and community, we would like to say how grateful we are to Corobrik for their incredible generosity. This is a big investment for the school and community, and it will be treasured for years to come.”