DE BEERS LIMPOPO RURAL SCHOOL PROGRAMME
The Limpopo Rural Schools Programme is a long-standing programme established in 1974 and run by the then Anglo American and De Beers Chairman’s Fund. It represents a shared vision between the De Beers Fund and the Limpopo Department of Education and aims to provide quality infrastructure to enhance the quality of education. Tshikululu provides ongoing project management skills to ensure the efficient and effective execution of the project.
In 2004 the De Beers Fund, now a separate entity, approached Tshikululu for assistance. Understanding the severe constraints for rural schools in Limpopo, De Beers wanted to expand the Rural Schools Programme in partnership with the Limpopo Department of Education, sharing the Department’s vision of providing quality infrastructure to enhance the quality of education. The De Beers Fund and the Department agreed initially to allocate R4 million each towards accelerating the delivery of infrastructure to rural schools in this province.
With Tshikululu’s capability, expertise and track record in managing social infrastructure projects always with a focus on enhancing the lives of community members, the team set about making this vision a reality.
From the outset, Tshikululu acted as project manager on behalf of the De Beers Fund for the re-named Limpopo Rural Schools Programme. Initially infrastructure investments were directed towards selected schools based on specific criteria developed by Tshikululu within the areas De Beers operates in Limpopo. Some of these investments included the provision of classrooms, toilets, water tanks, fences and furniture. As the Programme evolved, the Department engaged the De Beers Fund to incorporate the category of “Comprehensive Schools,” allowing for a more focused approach within fewer schools. This allowed a greater impact in those schools through the provision of comprehensive facilities. Administration and laboratory blocks were added to the programme, classrooms were entirely renovated, and ablution facilities were changed from a dry sanitation system to flushing toilets.
Tshikululu’s intensive role as project manager has evolved, and continues to evolve, incorporating a hands-on approach to all infrastructure projects at all levels from soil sampling and blueprint to handover and upkeep. Quarterly and ad-hoc reports are provided to trustees, and a successful relationship has been developed with the Limpopo Department of Education. Most powerfully, important relationships have been built between the schools and Tshikululu on behalf of the De Beers Fund, ensuring that the infrastructure and equipment are correctly utilised and maintained leading to long lasting social impact within these schools.
The Programme has been an outstanding success. In the 2011 to 2016 strategic period alone, the De Beers Fund invested R25 million into the Limpopo Rural Schools Programme.
Through their extensive experience, expertise and partnerships, Tshikululu has helped the De Beers Fund achieve deep and sustainable social impact for a greater good within the Limpopo Rural Schools Programme.