The learners of the Thembelihle Primary School in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal will in future be riding in style with a brand-new bus sponsored by investment group Mokoro Holdings.
The 16-seater Chinese-manufactured Jinbei H2 mini-bus will be used for transporting children to and from school, to sports events and cultural activities, and to school excursions and health care facilities when necessary.
“Our school has never had a bus before and we have had to rely on hiring taxis in the past, which are not always reliable or safe, and are usually costly,” says Dr Carolyn Hancock, chairperson of Thembelihle Primary School (Thembelihle means “Good Hope”).
Thembelihle Primary School is a non-profit, public benefit school that currently provides top-class education in English for 320 children from grade RRR to grade 7. The learners are all from disadvantaged backgrounds and most of them cannot afford to pay the school’s fees. The school governing body works hard to find individual and corporate sponsors so that these children can obtain a quality education.
“I am often asked what makes Thembelihle different to other schools and for me the answer is simple – our school is not only committed to providing an extremely high level of academic education but it is also founded on a culture of care and compassion. Our model of care is unbiased and all children receive equal attention, as our teachers know every child,” says Dr Hancock. “Our care extends beyond the classroom with all staff taking an active interest in the children’s emotional and physical wellbeing, as well as their participation in sporting and environmental programmes, the arts and various hobbies.”
Mokoro Holdings is a Johannesburg-based empowerment company that offers a suite of finance and support products to the minibus taxi industry in South Africa. This includes strategic investments in, and associations with, various industries supporting the developmental finance chain, from taxi finance to logistics, credit solution services, to supply of parts and vehicle servicing.
The financing of Thembelihle’s new bus, including the servicing costs, will be sponsored in full by Mokoro Holdings for five years, after which the bus will become the school’s property.
“At Mokoro we are dedicated to empowering the people of our country, and education is one of the best ways to do this. Through sponsoring this bus for Thembelihle, we hope we can make more learning opportunities accessible to the school’s learners, and grow them into the new, young leaders that our country desperately needs,” says Martin Bezuidenhout, deputy chairman and CEO of Mokoro Holdings.
“Grindrod Bank is proud to be associated with Mokoro Holdings and what it has achieved. We also want to acknowledge their wonderful contribution to Thembelihle Primary School, which demonstrates a clear commitment to uplifting the lives of those less fortunate living in the Howick area,” says Andrew Blades, non-executive board member of Mokoro Holdings and executive director of Grindrod Bank.
Thembelihle’s new bus was handed over at a ceremony at Mokoro’s offices in Johannesburg on Tuesday, September 27.