The Beestepan Agricultural High School located in Middelburg is approximately 34 km from Canyon’s Singani Colliery. It is a no-fee public school with limited resources and caters for learners from the underprivileged surrounding communities.
Canyon commenced with the project in June 2017. The school provided Canyon with a list of needs. To date Canyon has met many of the crucial needs of the school including:
• Extensive refurbishment of the school’s workshop by stabilising and reinforcing the structure;
• purchasing of new agricultural tools to enable the learners to not only work safely, but also ensure they can make full use of the facility to complete all curriculum requirements, and
• construction of two broiler units. The broiler units are crucial as they form part of the school’s academic programme and provide a source of income for the school. The chickens are reared by the learners and sold to the surrounding community.
Menar chairman Mpumelelo Mkhabela said specialised agricultural schools were critical to the skills revolution necessary to bring about transformation in commercial agriculture. “There are few such schools in the country and they have to be looked after. We can’t be talking about land reform and not do something about skills reform,” he said.