Durban - Miss South Africa 2021, Lalela Mswane visited the Inanda Newtown Comprehensive School on Monday for the handing over of a renovated consumer studies classroom.
The new-look facility was sponsored by nearby Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom, who invested over R300 000, as part of the Sun International Group’s Adopt the School Project.
The refurbishment of the consumer classroom kitchen, which is used for hospitality studies, saw Sibaya tile the kitchen and storeroom, redo all the electrical work and water system and geyser, paint the entire room, install stainless steel worktops and cabinets and install 13 new stoves for each workstation for use by the learners and educator.
“This visit has been so incredibly inspiring to see the impact an investment such as this can make in the lives of young people in pursuit of their dreams.
“I would encourage more initiatives such as Sun International’s Adopt the School Project, because an investment in education is ultimately an investment in the future of our country and the global village of which we are an integral part,” Mswane said.
Mswane was so touched by the enthusiasm and ethos of the school that she made a donation on behalf of the Miss SA organisation.
Sibaya’s general manager, Myan Moodley said he and the Sibaya team remain committed to continuing to improve facilities at the school, with the property set to renovate the science lab during the course of this year.
“We are enormously proud of Miss South Africa, Lalela, and what she has already accomplished and the dreams she inspires among children and young people, and we are committed to supporting those dreams through investment in education through Sun International’s Adopt the School Project,” Moodley said.
Lalela Mswane, 24, who hails from KwaSokhulu in Richards Bay was crowned Miss South Africa 2021 in Cape Town in October. She is a Bachelor of Law graduate, model and ballerina.
In an appreciation letter from Inanda Newtown principal Thulile Khumalo, the school thanked Sibaya and said: “These improvements are not only going to benefit our learners, but also the community as these learners will be applying the skills gained at school at home. The number of learners who are taking the subject now at Grade 10 has increased because the practical part of the subject can now be fulfilled with ease thanks to your donation.
“Once again we would like to thank Sibaya Casino for taking us with you in this journey for the past two years to improve the schooling conditions of these learners and the community at large.”
Mswane entered Miss South Africa in pursuit of a childhood dream and because she believed she possessed the compassion, tenacity, leadership and people skills to make her a worthy title holder.
“Every child has a dream, and as parents, educators, communities and the business sector, we need to do all that we can to nurture, support and encourage those dreams to help build a better world. So, thank you Inanda Newtown Comprehensive School and Sibaya for helping these children reach for the stars,” Mswane said.
Sun International has adopted 28 schools since embarking on its educational programme to integrate sustainable practices at schools on a national level in 2019. The programme incorporates various sustainability elements such as social, health and safety, economic and environmental elements.
Sun International via its properties spent R10.5 million across 28 schools over a two year period.
“During the time that we have been working with schools, we have seen our endeavours pay off, as pass rates have increased,” said Heidi Edson, Sun Internationals’ Group SED specialist.
“Grade 12 pass rates, for example, went from 68% to 88.7% in 2020. Grade 11 improved from 56% to 77.04%. In addition, one of the teachers at one of our adopted schools, Khaiso School, was awarded the Top Consumer Studies teacher in the Polokwane district,” she said.
The project has seen three bursaries offered to pupils who excel, a total of 14 classrooms have been revamped with new flooring, as well as stoves and microwaves as required. Taps, fridges and stainless-steel work tops have also been installed. In addition, Sun International built ablution facilities at three schools, developed a netball court, installed whiteboards, installed a solar system, held teacher workshops and maths classes, as well as implemented a library programme.