Boost For Science Teaching In south Durban Schools

To: All Media
Embargo: For immediate release
Date: 25 September 2015


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

The SAPREF- sponsored labs at Ekwazini and Qhilika High School, both located in Umlazi will cater for a cluster of local schools with a combined total of more than 5000 learners from Grades 8 to12. 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 sixteen science labs across South Durban schools since 2004.

The million rand project being launched today, Sept 15, 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.

Says SAPREF Managing Director, Ton Wielers: “These initiatives 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 the Department of Education and the input from our neighbouring communities in developing these projects.”

Says, Principal of Ekwazini High School, Mr. Madide “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.


For more information please contact:
Cindy Govender
Communications Manager
Tel: 031 480 1999


• 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 .