To: All Media
Embargo: For immediate release
Date: 13.10.16


The teaching of Maths and Science in Umlazi schools has received a boost with the establishment of two state-of-the-art SAPREF sponsored science laboratories in the township.

The million-rand project being launched today, October 13, involved converting a classroom at the schools into a fully-equipped science laboratory, complete with work benches, cupboards, Bunsen burners, science kits and chemicals. In addition, eight computers, a data projector and a screen for each school are part of the package to aid teaching and learning. The equipment and technology was selected in consultation with the Department of Education to meet the objectives of the new curriculum.

Said Cindy Govender, SAPREF’s Sustainable Development Manager: “It is SAPREF’s wish that the teaching of science theory be complemented with practicals to allow learners to touch, feel and manipulate science equipment and processes. This, we believe, is one of the best ways of training the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

To date SAPREF has installed 18 science labs across South Durban schools valued at approximately R20 million. The Menzi laboratory is especially worth celebrating as it is named in honour of the late Felix Mshololo, legendary principal of Menzi who served the school to great acclaim for 26 years before his sudden passing in Feb 2015

Says SAPREF Managing Director, Ton Wielers: “Initiatives such as these laboratories support the quality of learning and teaching. They are part of a wider response by SAPREF to the call to uplift conditions in schools, especially in the area of Maths, Science and Technology Education. SAPREF is grateful for the guidance of school management teams and the support of partners such Kaefer Thermal, one of SAPREF’s suppliers in developing these projects.”

Says Principal of Ogwini High School, Dr. Dlamini, “The establishment of the laboratory provides teachers with an opportunity to better demonstrate experiments and positions the school as a flagship institution in the community. Ms Ntombela, Principal of Menzi High concurs, adding that with the hands on experience that the learners will now acquire through the use of the science laboratory the school results will be even better.”


For more information please contact:
Cindy Govender
031 480 1303 or 082 8852 909 or


• SAPREF is jointly (50/50) owned by Shell SA Refining and BP Southern Africa.
• SAPREF is the largest crude oil refinery in Southern Africa, having 35% refining capacity for the country.
• SAPREF’s social investment initiatives focus on sustainable projects, especially Maths and Science education and capacity building projects for the nine communities surrounding the refinery.

Our investment in education includes:

  • The SAPREF Talent Pipeline Programme which comprises of high school learners from neighbouring schools. Learners are given a R5000 bursary towards their school fees and tuitions and are mentored by SAPREF staff to get them interesting in Engineering as a career. Most of our bursary recipients are from this programme.
  • Establishment of computer labs at schools to support ICT education