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When it comes to community involvement, VBKOM and Sehlare Sa Meetlwa walks the talk

Back to School Initiative

Photo: SSM representatives Asiphile Mavumegnwana, Peggy Masilela, Tuduetso Thamage, Oratile Ratshidi, Billa Neels, and Socio-Economic Development Consultant getting ready for the Back-to-School Uniform handout initiative

Getting Involved

During October 2022, VBKOM and our local Northern Cape Joint Venture, Sehlare Sa Meetlwa (SSM), contacted a major mining house in the Northern Cape to find out how and where we could help the local communities.

After many engagements with the socio-economic development (SED) consultants from two mines based in Kathu and Postmasburg respectively, it was determined that a few schools were in desperate need of assistance. One primary school in each of these regions was identified, and in December 2022, Eduan Pieterse, VBKOM Executive, and SSM Director headed out with a few VBKOM and SSM employees to visit two primary schools to deliver some much-needed sports equipment. Each primary school received 10 soccer balls, 2 practice soccer nets, 10 netball balls, and 2 ball pumps.

The engagement with the SED consultants did not stop there, and VBKOM and SSM pledged to continue investing in these young pupils of the two identified schools, namely Refentse Primary School in Groenwater and Maikaelelo Primary School in Olifantshoek.


Back-to-School Uniforms

Photo: School Uniforms packed and ready to be handed out

Part of the discussions with the SED consultants was the desperate need expressed for school uniforms. The SED-project is being managed by SSM’s Peggy Masilela. She has been an integral part of ensuring that the Back-to-School initiative is executed.

Gloria de Bruyn (VBKOM), Tiffany Verwey (VBKOM), Asiphile Mavumegnwana (SSM), Peggy Masilela (SSM), Tuduetso Thamage (SSM), Oratile Ratshidi (SSM) and Billa Neels (SSM), loaded two vehicles with the uniforms for 63 learners in total early on the morning of 7 March 2023.

The team’s first stop was at the Refentse Primary School in Postmasburg, before they made their way to the Maikaelelo Primary School in Olifantshoek.

Back-to-School: Postmasburg

Photo: Peggy Masilela (SSM) and Asiphile Mavumegnwana (SSM) with the learners from Refentse Primary School, Postmasburg

For the Refentse Primary School in Postmasburg, Peggy has been liaising with Ms. Kirsty Lowskitter from Tloleho Consulting. Ms. Louwskitter supplied Peggy and the SSM team with a list of 31 learners that were all in need of school uniforms. The Refentse Primary School uniform consisted of:

  • Boy’s uniforms:
    • Blue shirts
    • Black pants/shorts
    • Black socks
    • Shoes
  • Girl’s uniforms:
    • Blue shirts
    • Black skirts
    • Black socks
    • Shoes

Back-to-School Initiative: Olifantshoek

Photo: SSM team and Gloria de Bruyn (VBKOM) with the learners and staff from Maikaelelo Primary School, Olifantshoek

For the Maikaelelo Primary School in Olifantshoek, Peggy has been liaising with Ms. Lindiwe Job from Tloleho Consulting. Ms. Job supplied Peggy and the SSM team with a list of 32 learners that were all in need of school uniforms. The Maikaelelo Primary School uniform consisted of:

  • Boy’s uniforms:
    • White shirts
    • Grey long trousers
    • Grey socks
    • Shoes
  • Girl’s uniforms:
    • White shirts
    • Grey skirts
    • Black/White socks
    • Shoes
    Back-to-School InitiativePhoto: Tiffany Verwey (VBKOM), Billa Neels (SSM), Asiphile Mavumegnwana (SSM), Peggy Masilela (SSM), Oratile Ratshidi and Tuduetso Thamage at the Maikaelelo Primary School, Olifantshoek

Going Forward

By unearthing opportunities, our solutions have the power to improve lives. This is not only true for our technical solutions, but also for how we view our participation in creating a better world. What it comes down to is that our main goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of others, particularly the communities in which we work and live.

VBKOM and SSM recognise the need to grow and support the youth of our country. Although the uniforms are one small gesture, we acknowledge that the needs of the two schools are many and costly. VBKOM and SSM have undertaken to build a relationship with these two primary schools, and together with the SED consultants, to become more involved with these two schools in 2023 and beyond in other ways.





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