NEW SCHOOLS BENEFIT LOCAL PROFESSIONALS

A GAUTENG project set to build 16 new schools in the province has gone a step further by ensuring that previously disadvantaged professionals and locals benefit from the programme.

A GAUTENG project set to build 16 new schools in the province has gone a step further by ensuring that previously disadvantaged professionals and locals benefit from the programme.

The joint venture project between Steward Scott International and black-owned Mafuri and Associates comprises a group of professional construction managers who have designed and implemented a unique turnkey infrastructure model.

The project employs the services of mainly black professionals such as engineers and architects in building the schools.

So far 13 schools have been completed and the project prides itself on the fact that local labour has been used to implement the programme.

On October 17 the 13th school, Katlehong Secondary, was officially handed over to the community and the Gauteng Department of Education at a ceremony attended by MEC for education Barbara Creecy.

The school project was implemented to eradicate the backlog in classrooms in the province.

Bernard Magabe, chief executive of Mafuri and Associates, said the company had taken a conscious decision to engage young black professionals to give them practical guidance under specialised supervision of quantity surveyors, project managers and engineers.

"Though local contractors have building experience they did not have the management and planning resources to undertake projects of this magnitude. That is why we have special mentoring and coaching to enable them to produce quality work within time and cost," he said.

The schools all have the same GDE design, differing only in terms of the layout and foundations that are particular to the individual sites.

Foundations, site layout and bulk earthworks are all handled by the joint venture.

The schools are fully equipped with laboratories, libraries, home economics and sports grounds.

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