Zimplats Hands Over US$380k Facilities to Turf Primary School


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DT Correspondent

Platinum Group Metals (PGM) miner, Zimplats on Monday handed over two classroom blocks and ablution facilities that were constructed at a cost of about US$380,000 to the authorities at Turf Primary School in Mhondora Ngezi District as part of its efforts to de-congest the elementary school.

The investment, which forms part of Zimplats’ on-going social performance programme, was officially handed over to the Mhondoro Ngezi Rural District Council (MNRDC), which operates the school, by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in Mashonaland West Province, Hon Marian Chombo, who was the Guest of Honour

In a communique, Zimplats Chief Executive Officer Mr Alex Mhembere said due to inadequate infrastructure, some of the pupils at the school have been learning under harsh conditions, hence the intervention by Zimplats.

“…by investing in the education sector, we are seeking to create conducive conditions for both learners and their teachers, especially in the rural areas where schools are constrained by the unavailability of resources.

“This is in line with Zimplats’ purpose of creating a better future for all its stakeholders, including communities surrounding its operations in Ngezi and Selous At Turf Primary School,” he said.

He also said Zimplats has been upgrading the school through the construction of additional classrooms, staff houses, and ablution facilities, in a bid to decongest the institution.

“The latest project, which falls under Phase 3 of the school’s expansion programme, saw us constructing two classroom blocks and ablution facilities.

“Each block has four classes, which will take 40 pupils each, thus absorbing 320 learners in total,” said Mr Mhembere.

“This will go a long way in improving the teacher-to-student-ratio from an average of 1:55 to 1:40, in what could also enhance the learning environment and pass rates.

“Our philosophy is that the greatest form of empowerment that one can ever benefit from is when they free-up their minds through education, which enables them to come up with solutions to life’s challenges,” said Mr Mhembere.

 Speaking during the handover of the facilities, Minister Chombo commended Zimplats for assisting MNRDC in improving the quality of infrastructure at the school and challenged other corporates throughout the country to take a leaf from the PGM miner whose interventions extends beyond education to community wellness, infrastructure development and local enterprise development.

In FY2023, Zimplats spent US$4,7 million in corporate social investment programmes, up from US$3,4m in FY2022

“Zimplats deserve a pat on the back because they can never be any wiser choice than this in the sense that education is the most powerful investment in our children’s future and that of our nation.

“The education sector is still suffering from lack of financial resources, inadequate equipment (no libraries, textbooks computers etc.), and poor working conditions for the teachers.

“Government alone, will not be able to bring up these school to the desired levels without the support from the private sector,” she said.

Last year Zimplats handed over projects that encompassed solar power systems to provide electricity to classrooms and teachers’ houses at Chingondo Secondary School and Tangwena Primary and Secondary Schools in the same district.

The projects also included the sinking of a solar powered borehole to provide potable water to the schools and their surrounding communities and renovations of administration offices and classrooms Both Tangwena and Chingondo schools were each equipped with computer laboratories, complete with 20 desktop computers each, two HP Printers each and furniture.

Several other schools in the Mhondoro-Ngezi and Chegutu Districts have also been beneficiaries of projects initiated by Zimplats in the past two decades of their existence and these include St Michaels School, David Guzuzu School, Rutara Primary School, Saruwe Primary School, Marshal Hartley School, Saruwe Secondary School: Wanganui Primary School, and Wanganui Secondary School.

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