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Santam supports Western Cape school safety programme to improve learning environment

13 November 2013 Tersia Mdunge, Santam
Donald Grant, Western Cape MEC for Education tries out the new lawnmower at Phoenix High in Manenberg.

Donald Grant, Western Cape MEC for Education tries out the new lawnmower at Phoenix High in Manenberg.

The School Resource Officers from the six schools seen with representatives from Santam at the handover ceremony.

The School Resource Officers from the six schools seen with representatives from Santam at the handover ceremony.

Santam, South Africa’s largest short-term insurer recently extended its involvement with the City of Cape Town’s School Resource Officer (SRO) programme by contributing lawnmowers and vouchers for sport kits to six high schools in the Cape Metropole. The schools are Phoenix High School (Manenberg), Chrystal High (Hanover Park), Bishop Lavis High (Bishop Lavis), Sizimisele High (Khayelitsha), Oscar Mpetha High (Nyanga) and Lotus High (Lotus River).

Santam’s partnership with the City and the Department of Education began in January 2013 and Santam is supporting the SRO programme for three years.

Dependent on the needs of the schools, resources were available this year for repairs and replacements of damaged doors, windows, emergency exits and school gates at Sizimisele High, Phoenix High and Lotus High. Repairs and replacements will be done at the remaining schools next year.

Donald Grant, Western Cape MEC for Education, commended Santam at a handover event for getting involved and partnering with the City to create safer schools and to improve conditions more conducive to effective learning.

"We are extremely proud and honoured to be involved with the SRO programme as it’s not only aligned to our CSI strategy that focuses on safe and secure community schools, but also to the core of our business, which is managing risk,” says Tersia Mdunge, Corporate Social Investment Manager at Santam.

She adds: "Our learners deserve to feel safe where they study, and it is important to create an environment in which learning can take place. The lawnmowers we have contributed may be used to cut grass, but they also create pride in the school among teachers, learners and the community. Obviously, they facilitate sports activities as well which, as we all know, adds to a sense of pride in our learning institutions while providing an outlet and avenue of expression for children and teachers.”

"Every bit companies and individuals give to the running of the SRO programme helps, particularly the ongoing effort to upgrade schools’ security infrastructure. We are happy to be able to contribute,” says Mdunge.

J.P. Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security of the City of Cape Town, said the SRO programme is adding considerable value to communities and donations like Santam’s contribution will assist the programme as it tries to reach more schools.

"In addition to this programme, Santam has also partnered with UNICEF’s Safe and Caring Child Friendly Schools programme, NICRO on the Safety Ambassador Programmes and with Schools @ the Centre of Community. These programmes are essential in addressing key social risks such as increased levels of violence and substance abuse. We cannot place too much emphasis on tackling these issues which many communities are currently facing and which ultimately negatively affect our children,” concludes Mdunge.

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