Plumbing industry helps primary school repair vandalised ablution facilities

15 October 2021

Leading participants in the South African plumbing industry recently responded to a call for assistance from Claremont Primary to repair its vandalised ablution facilities.

The initiative was led by Dutton Plastics which, together with the help of the Institute of Plumbing South Africa, mobilised other companies to support this worthy cause. They included Tjeka Training Matters, Aquaffection, Lecico SA, Plumblink, Comap and Oatey.

The initiative was initially planned to take place earlier in the year on Nelson Mandela Day. However, it was postponed due to the introduction of tighter restrictions on the gathering and movement of people to curtail the third wave of COVID-19 virus infections.

“Dutton Plastics continues to help overhaul the ablution facilities of no-fee schools as part of our corporate-social investment initiatives. These projects help to restore dignity by providing school learners and staff with access to quality water and sanitation,” Charlene Joubert, Marketing and Sales Director of Dutton Plastics, says.

The initiative was led by the Dutton Plastics’ team.

Dutton Plastics, Lecico SA, Plumblink, Comap and Oatey donated various components required to repair and replace the damaged and stolen property. They included 23 basins with taps, traps and flexi connectors, as well as 23 toilet seats and mechanisms. This is in addition to a number of cisterns.

Tjeka Training Matters seconded Nomsa Selala, a very competent training facilitator and an assistant, Sibusiso Chanco, to the project at no cost, to repair all of the school’s ablution facilities. She completed the installation in only five days. This was in time for the reopening of the school following a short break in October.

Tjeka Training Matters seconded Nomsa Selala and Sibusiso Chanco to the project at no cost.

“According to the Water Services Act, everyone has a right to basic water supply and sanitation services. We are, therefore, proud to have played our small part in improving conditions for the many young learners who are attending classes at Claremont Primary,” Salala says.

As part of the initiative, Aquaffection also installed an electronic logger and various water savings mechanisms at the school to help the facility conserve water that it sources from a borehole on the property.

Gerrie Brink, Managing Director of Aquaffection, says that these interventions have resulted in a 34% reduction in demand at the school. This will enable the school to save over 1 million litres annually and contribute  towards #SurplusWater2025.

Brink is the founder of #SurplusWater2025. It makes Sector Education Training Authority-accredited training on efficiency and behavioural changes available to companies that contributes towards their Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment scorecards. Although this is a direct benefit, it mobilises stakeholders to become involved and excited about participating in water savings.

“Between 17 and 23 October 2021, the total demand for the week was 40,198 KL with an average per day of 5,743KL and a peak daily demand of 9,564KL. Before the intervention, the total weekly demand was 60,738KL with an average daily demand of 10,123KL and a peak daily demand of 15,44KL,” Brink says.

Meanwhile, the school also upgraded its security to prevent future vandalism and theft of property.

Claremont Primary is a no-fee school that serves more than 500 learners, many of whom reside in a large informal settlement between Claremont and Newclare, in the west of Johannesburg. The school is wholly reliant on funding from government and, therefore, appreciates any donations it receives from the private sector to help it operate at optimal levels and provide quality basic education to learners.

Riana Breytenbach, Claremont Primary’s principal, says, “Many of our learners are growing up in very difficult circumstances. They are certainly not accustomed to this considerate treatment. The school’s management, teachers and learners can’t find better ways of thanking the companies that participated in this initiative.”

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