A Whole New World for Rural Learners


A whole new world of possibility has opened up for learners at Mabotha Secondary School in the small rural village of Ga-Kibi near All Days in Limpopo Province. This follows Barloworld Equipment’s generous donation of a computer laboratory on 28 January 2016.

The computer laboratory, housed in a container on the school’s premises, for the first time gives learners at Mabotha Secondary School the ability to learn computer skills and access the internet to enrich their studies. Barloworld Equipment has also sponsored a year’s worth of WiFi with unlimited broadband access to enable the learners to use the internet as a learning tool. 

The donation came about as part of Barloworld Equipment’s relationship with its mining customer De Beers Venetia Mine in Musina. De Beers approached the earthmoving equipment company to partner with them on some of its local community development projects that form part of its mining licence commitments in the Musina and Blouberg areas. Ga-Kibi is located in the Blouberg municipal area. 

Barloworld Equipment South Africa CEO Emmy Leeka says the donation forms part of Barloworld Equipment’s commitment to shared value creation and creating a world of difference.

“The computer laboratory was identified as one of Mabotha Secondary School’s most pressing needs, and the project perfectly aligned with our CSI policy.

“We understand the importance of technology, and equipping learners with computer literacy skills and the ability to engage with and learn about new technologies. The computer laboratory will not only  assist learners in boosting their skills levels, but having internet access will significantly enhance their ability to learn about the world and take advantage of e-learning programmes and online courses to enhance their academic studies. We are pleased to be investing in the future of the young people of the Ga-Kibi community. There are several community members who are employed in our local branch within the De Beers Venetia Mine and we are delighted that the computer laboratory will also serve   the broader community.”

Comments Sibani Mngomezulu, Group executive: HR, strategy and sustainability: “The Barloworld group is committed to playing a positive role in our communities and education is one of the group’s key CSI focus areas. It is an investment in the future, in our people around the world and their various communities, as well as in the environmental sustainability of the planet. Partnerships are integral to solving pressing societal issues and this particular partnership between our Equipment division, the Barloworld Trust and De Beers is testament to our commitment to the betterment of communities.”

Solomon Mabitsela, principal of Mabotha Secondary School, says there has been great excitement among the learners, educators and the Ga-Kibi community since the arrival of the computer laboratory.

Of the 320 learners at the school, the 60 matriculants will receive computer training in 2016.

“We are so thankful to Barloworld Equipment for this extremely generous donation. It is going to have a huge impact on our learners’ lives and bring new skills to our community.  Our school operates on a shoestring budget with very few facilities to aid in the development of our learners. These computers and having the internet is going to significantly improve their academic performance and give them knowledge they would never otherwise have access to. It is going to open up the whole world for them.”

Mabitsela adds that members of the Ga-Kibi community will also benefit from the computer laboratory. “We are going to be training staff of the tribal authority, as well as members of the local community on how to use computers. We will be teaching them Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Educators at Mabotha Secondary School will also have the opportunity to upgrade their computer literacy skills.”

Mabotha Secondary School Grade 12 learner Tania Matloga says it is a great relief to have computers at her school as they will assist learners with their class work and teach them valuable computer skills.

“Having access to the internet is also a very big deal for us as it means we can access information and subject tutorials online, which is going to greatly help us with our studies.”

This is the first time many of these learners have access to a computer or the internet.

Oliver Leboho, the traditional leader (kgoshi) of Ga-Kibi and other surrounding villages, says he is extremely appreciative to Barloworld Equipment for the donation of the computer laboratory. “The computer laboratory at Mabotha Secondary School is going to be a huge help to children and middle-aged residents who want to learn computer skills, but don’t have the money to travel into town to get those skills. Today everything is about computers and technology. Even when you apply for a job you need to use a computer, so it’s very important that our community members learn how to use them.”

As a leading corporate citizen, Barloworld Equipment is committed to social, environmental and economic stability. These driving principles are reflected in the company’s social responsibility programmes, which focus on education and healthcare.