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Vredenburg, 09 September 2010 – PetroSA, South Africa’s National Oil Company (NOC), and the Western Cape Department of Education, have come to the aid of an impoverished West Coast community, by co-sponsoring a multi-million rand state-of-the-art school that will ensure young people receive a quality education. 
 
Previously Vredenburg’s Louwville and Chris Hani townships did not have a school. Learners had to be content with being accommodated at faraway schools. In some instances learners could not be registered at these other schools due to overcrowding. While other learners had to endure walks of more than 3 kilometres to get to school or take public transport to get to the nearby towns of St Helena Bay for classes.
 
Masiphathisane Combined School has been built at a cost of R22 million. Dipuo Peters, the Minister of Energy, and Donald Grant, the Western Cape Minister of education today officially opened Masiphathisane. The new school caters for learners registered from grades R-to-9.  
 
Minister Peters said: "We are encouraged by the involvement of PetroSA in these groundbreaking initiatives. PetroSA has spent a whopping R220 million on the corporate social responsibility projects since 2004. Today's launch was a clear demonstration that PetroSA has a heart. We call on other companies to follow the example that has been set by our national oil company."
 
The school boasts a communication and media centre, computer laboratory, sickroom, two store rooms, library, paraplegic ramps and toilets, furnished school hall, netball court and a fully equipped feeding scheme kitchen.
Masiphathisane currently accommodates 800 learners. During the construction phase 170 Vredenburg community members were employed to assist with the development.
 
PetroSA contributed R15, 5 million towards the construction of the Masiphathisane Combined School, while the Western Cape Department of Education assisted with R6, 4 million.

Mr Grant, the Provincial Minister of Education, expressed his sincere appreciation of the generous contribution of PetroSA.
 
“The official opening today of Masiphathisane Combined School is testimony to how parastatal’s, the private sector and government can work together to improve education infrastructure throughout the country. There is no better investment anyone can make than in public education and that is why the role of PetroSA is this particular project is so valuable,” he said.
 
“I look forward to similar such joint ventures of this kind, as we all work together to improve the quality of education provided in the Western Cape,” Mr Grant added.
Adv. Linda Makatini, PetroSA’s Interim Board Chairperson, said the construction of the school was crucial to ensuring that every child received a quality education.
 
“This school will not only alleviate accommodation pressures on the other schools in the West Coast region, but it ensures that PetroSA continues to play a meaningful role in creating a better life for all the people of South Africa,” she said.
 
“As a company we operate in an industry that requires a high level of skills and proficiency. This investment towards the future of our country assists with the nurturing of scarce skills required by companies such as ours,” Adv. Makatini added.
 
PetroSA is committed to the social upliftment of historically disadvantaged communities. Over the last five the company has spent over R200 million countrywide in improving the quality of education, health, environment and general community development in impoverished communities.
 
In the Eastern Cape, which is one of the country’s poorest provinces, PetroSA’s CSI investment has totalled more than R40 million. This investment has been in the areas of education and other developmental projects, which has seen the company building schools, science and computer laboratories, ablution facilities and administration buildings, amongst other things.
 
These include the refurbishment of the Good Shepherd Trust in Grahamstown for R9 million, R3 million for a computer and science centre at the Butterworth Secondary School. The National Oil Company has also sponsored a Geology Chair at the University of Fort Hare. In Port Elizabeth, PetroSA has invested close to R5 million towards corporate social investment initiatives over the past twelve months.
 
The company has also sponsored R9 million for the establishment of a scholarship programme at the University of Johannesburg. The donation funds black and female post-graduate candidates participating in Masters and PhD studies.
 
PetroSA has recently also donated R36 million towards the establishment of a Synthetic Fuels Research Facility at the University of the Western Cape.
 
For more information contact:
Thabo Mabaso
PetroSA Spokesperson
084-466-3942