South Africa’s most empowered JSE listed company, Oceana Group Limited, has spent almost half a million rand on the refurbishment of a primary school in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth.
The Oceana Group is the largest fishing company in South Africa, with its Eastern Cape squid operations based in Port Elizabeth. Identifying a school within a deserving community such as Gelvandale, where some of our employees’ children attend school, allowed Oceana to share the value created through the conversion of fishing rights.
Established in 1967, Papenkuil primary school is where 764 pupils attend class daily, along with their 26 teachers. Now, thanks to Oceana Group, the school has been given a facelift.
The work was completed in two phases over the past year and included:
- fencing the perimeter of the school’s property to ensure the safety of the pupils,
- cleaning and painting of the roof and, exterior walls,
- replacement and painting of window frames,
- the girls and boys bathrooms were completely renovated, with brand new tiling.
For school principal, Neil Deerling, the refurbishment of the school is the realisation of a long-held dream.
“Since my appointment at the school more than 10 years ago it has been a dream of mine to have the school painted as it is such a landmark in the community. When Oceana came to the school with the offer I was very excited as this was much needed by the school,” said Mr Deerling. “Now that the school is painted the kids and teachers are more positive about coming to a place which looks so much better.”
The R488 000 renovations form part of the Oceana Group’s CSI strategy, implemented by the Oceana Foundation, which seeks to give back to the communities in which it operates. The Oceana Foundation has donated minibuses, feeding kitchens and refurbished schools in various coastal communities in the Western Cape since its inception in 2012.
“Some of the pupils at Papenkuil primary are the children of our employees, so we are proud to make an investment which improves their learning environment and makes their school a more pleasant place to spend their days,” said Oceana Group’s CEO, Francois Kuttel.
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