Business builds for Soweto learners

Mbuyisa Makhuba Primary School students excitedly escort guests to the opening of new classrooms.The youngest children at Makhuba Primary School in Orlando West, Soweto, are beginning a new life of learning in new classrooms built for them in a business joint venture involving local construction industry leaders.

The new school block has been built with 36 000 bricks donated by clay brick manufacturer Oconbrick – a member of the Murray & Roberts Building Products group of companies – which partnered with Grinaker-LTA in the development initiative.

Makhuba Primary is linked with one of the most important turning points in South African history: it is located opposite the memorial to Hector Pieterson the boy who was the first to fall in the 1976 Soweto student uprising. The school is named in tribute to Mbuyisa Makhuba, who carried Hector’s body away from the field on that fateful June 16th. Mbuyisa was also lost in the struggle – he disappeared that day, never to be seen again. Relatives of Mbuyisa were present at the formal opening of the new classroom block.

In the new school additions, two classrooms have been built to accommodate Grade R children aged between 4½ and 6½ years, and Grade 1 pupils between the ages of 6½ and 7½ years. The additions also include a kitchen and a storeroom.

Oconbrick’s Gem bricks were used in the construction. These are standard-length bricks but double the width of standard bricks.

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