LUNCH will be more pleasant for the pupils of Zithathele Primary School when they return from their school holidays, thanks to the Johannesburg Development Agency, which installed a kitchen shelter at the school.

On 3 April, agency staff turned up at the building, which is in Orlando East in Soweto, to participate in the work. The upgrade is one of the agency’s corporate social investment projects. The JDA supports community projects and schools in the areas where it does work, in this way giving back to the people.

Among the JDA officials helping out was Alice Moloto, the marketing manager of internal communications and special projects. She said the focus this financial year was on improving education and learning. “We want to ensure that all educational environments are being looked after,” she added.

“Today we are here to launch the upgrade of the library and the kitchen to ensure that the children are fed in a covered area and in a healthy environment.”

She explained that the JDA’s corporate social investment mandate was to ensure that it supported community projects where it did street and public upgrades. Benefiting schools and projects were identified by the development manager.

The kitchen shelter would protect learners from inclement weather, Moloto said. The area was dusty, making it a problem for children to collect their food when it was raining.

Although the work was done during the holidays, when the school was closed, some of the teachers were there to witness the upgrade. Among them was the principal, Sanele Sangweni, who described her staff as dedicated and united. “When I was told that my school would be upgraded I felt very special,” she said. “The upgrade has completely changed … the school.”

Because the school was old, there was a point when everything they touched fell. “It is amazing what the JDA has done for us today because our children are going to be fed under the safe shelter. That building was old and dilapidated,” she added.

The school, on Mooki Street, was established in 1963. It accommodates 1 259 learners from Grade R up to Grade 7.