The Reunert College (established in 1993) offers a bridging programme for students with a matric from a previously disadvantaged school (which does not allow them access to tertiary institutions) and moving them to a university entrance matric. Learners rewrite the subjects through the IEB matric exam. The College’s primary focus is on developing talent in the fields of science, mathematics and accounting. Successful participants can secure bursaries to study further and potentially gain employment in either Reunert or within industry.
Apart from the academic support provided, learners are also supported to develop as individuals. All the resources required by the learners to succeed during their year at the College is provided.
Peotona, acting upon its principle of smart partnerships, was instrumental in facilitating external sponsors, such as, The Zenex Foundation and the JSE who also contribute financially to the College. These funds together with the financial contributions of the Reunert Companies allow the College to enrol 80 students on an annual basis.
The College is dedicated to the enhancement of education within the community. For this reason, a Principals Forum was established, during which training and developmental sessions are held on different educational issues for the Principals of the schools. Altogether 21 township schools take part in this initiative.
The work of the Ponahalo/De Beers Trusts and that of the De Beers Fund is synchronized – Thandi Orleyn chairs the Ponahalo/De Beers Trusts and the De Beers Fund.
The Ponahalo/De Beers Trusts’ activities include entrepreneurial development work taking place around Voorspoed and Venetia mines. The work has a special focus on women and people with disabilities.
The work with people with disabilities was recognised in 2008 by Mail & Guardian when it won their “Investing for the Future Award”.
CERAMIC INDUSTRIES LIMITED
Thandi Orleyn drove the Ceramic Foundation and the Empowerment Trusts from 2009 until the merger of the Ceramics and Italitile Foundations and Trusts in 2017 to form the Italtile and Ceramics Foundation.
Focused in the greater Lichtenburg area on the Bodibe community (adjacent to the biggest Lafarge asset) in the North West Province, the Lafarge Community Trust & the Lafarge Educational Trust have established a developmental partnership with the Provincial & Local government and communities.
In 2008 Lafarge established a partnership with the Adopt-a-School Foundation to implement the Whole School Development Project in Bodibe. The programme covers four aspects: infrastructure investment, teacher skills, school nutrition and sports revival. It includes all 11 schools in the Bodibe community, and has a special set of considerations for children with visual impairment.
The building programme began in April 2009 with all procurement relating to it being sourced from the local community. As of March 2010, 40% of the infrastructure projects were completed and construction on class rooms, ablution blocks, libraries and general renovation is ongoing.
The Bodibe sports programme was successfully launched through a soccer tournament on the 20th March 2009.
The teacher skills programme kicked off on the 9th May 2009 with a programme on Executive Leadership in Teaching and Learning which is offered at Wits University. The Principals of the 11 schools and the Circuit Manager attended the programme once every month for 11 consecutive months. 10 of the principals successfully graduated in March 2010.
In addition, principals, deputies, educators and clerks were offered basic and advanced computer training to assist them with the day-to-day tasks of school management. The training took place in March/April 2010.
A programme where teachers are trained with the goal to improve language and literacy in Grade 1 learners commenced in April 2010.
In 2009, the Lafarge Education Trust started a university bursary program with 80 students registered for degrees in Engineering, Science and Technology. The Trust supports these students by paying all academic fees (module fees, registration fees and prescribed text books) on their behalf. Furthermore, the Lafarge Education Trust assists these students in finding in-service training during their studies. In 2010 and 2011, the Trust enrolled 48 and 60 students respectively.
Various education facilities have been built and upgraded around South Africa.