Children love playing on their new swings and slide

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

The children of Emmanuel Day Care Centre now enjoy fun-filled days in the sun on their new swings and slides, thanks to Hollard.

Lindiwe Mabizela, founder of the day-care centre in Stretford, near Orange Farm in the Vaal Triangle, said: "They love playing on their new swings. That's all they do nowadays because we have never had anything like this since Emmanuel opened."

The recreational facilities were built by Hollard's group property and facilities manager Nick Swart's son, Matthew, 13, and his friends, Brett and Neill McCrae, also 13, of The Ridge Primary School in Westcliff, Johannesburg.

Busi Radebe, of Hollard, suggested the boys work at the centre adopted by Hollard in June.

The three built the recreational facilities with Swart's supervision on December 2 and 3 as part of their school's community upliftment programme. The boys were excited and saw it as a challenge.

"We've never done anything like this," Matthew said.

Swart said that it provided an opportunity for the boys to improve the wellbeing of less privileged children and to work as a team.

Mabizela founded the centre in 2000 with six children and it grew in popularity.

From a monthly fee of R80, she manages to feed 95 children three meals a day and to pay three teachers-caregivers, a gardener and two security guards. This also goes towards basic amenities such as electricity and water.

"This is not nearly enough. I pay them what little I can," Mabizela said.

It is Mabizela's greatest wish to pay her team a salary for the hard work they do.

A team of Austrian students helped build the strange-looking lopsided building in 2004.

Mabizela would like to admit grade R pupils to the centre in the future.

"We would need to be trained for that and would appreciate any help we can get," she said.