MARIKANA - Lonmin officially handed over a new primary school to the North West Department of Education in Marikana near Rustenburg on Friday.

"The launch of the school not only ensures better educational opportunities and therefore a brighter future for Marikana’s children, it is also evidence of our dedication to protecting the rights of our people, and bringing them to life," said CEO Ben Magara.

"The school, a brand new campus, will enrich the community by providing a first rate educational facility."

The New Marikana Primary School accommodate up to 750 learners in Grades R to 7. The new school facilities include a dedicated Grade R learning centre, ablution facilities accommodating learners living with disabilities, a kitchen equipped to provide meals for students, and a 900-seater hall.

The department of education said partnerships in education were essential to the success of the sector.

"Addressing the needs of our children and ensuring all our learners are able to go to school in a conducive and safe environment is something we cannot do alone. We would like to thank Lonmin for this immense investment to the education sector but also to the future of our country and the Marikana Community in particular who will greatly benefit from this school," Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said in a statement.

"Lonmin’s Social and Labour Plans (SLP) emphasise the need to improve the quality of life for its communities. With this in mind, the launch of the New Marikana Primary School creates a secure, conducive learning environment for learners while increasing the capacity offered by the 19 primary and eight high schools already servicing the area," the company added.

Lonmin’s SLP education achievements include R100 million invested in education since 2014, and 2,799 children have benefited from early childhood development programmes.

African News Agency/ANA