The Tolcon group forms part of the JSE listed Murray and Roberts group. Murray & Roberts is integrated with its society and its business activities have an impact on the communities in which they are undertaken. The Group is committed to managing this impact responsibly and accepts that its obligation extends beyond statutory requirements to the upliftment of society as a whole.
The Murray & Roberts corporate social involvement (CSI) program focuses on development projects aligned with the Group’s business strategy.
Next Generation Scholars programme
The Murray & Roberts sponsorship of the NGS focuses specifically around bursaries for postgraduate studies within engineering and through this partnership, 3 Masters and 3 PhD students have completed their postgraduate studies.
Technology Research Activity Centre (TRAC)
Investment in CSI projects includes funding for the Murray & Roberts TRAC Laboratories. TRAC South Africa remains the flagship CSI intervention and Murray & Roberts currently fund the costs for a combination of 3 fixed and 3 mobile laboratories, which enables and encourages learners to enter into careers in science, engineering, and technology by providing equipment, curriculum content, vocational guidance information, and a variety of other material to developing communities where resources are limited. For the period under review, TRAC reached over 7500 learners and 60 educators across 70 schools.
The TRAC interventions are implemented with grade 10, 11 and 12 learners and their educators. The learners engage with the TRAC programme for a minimum of two hours per week, for the duration of the school calendar. Educators are also present during the experiential lessons and many educators report that the TRAC intervention provides much needed in-service training, thus contributing to improved knowledge and competence among physical science educators.
The most recent laboratory established through our CSI funding is the mobile laboratory in Delmas. The Delmas laboratory was launched on the 18th April 2012 and will be operational for the next three years, benefiting 5 of the 6 schools in Delmas.
Bojanala Systemic School Improvement Project (BSSIP)
The second largest project funded within Murray & Roberts education programme is the Bojanala Systemic School Improvement Project (BSSIP) which is implemented by JET Education Services. The BSSIP is a demonstration project and is implemented as a public private partnership initiative between JET Education Services, Murray & Roberts CSI, the North West Education Department and two educator unions.
The project is being implemented in 25 schools within the Moses Kotane West (Cluster B) circuit of the Bojanala district. The BSSIP project aims to improve the overall school functionality in order to impact on all aspects of learning and teaching. The project focuses on several interventions including school management and functionality; curriculum planning and delivery; educator development; stakeholder engagement; district support and monitoring and evaluation, to name a few. The BSSIP project is independently evaluated on an annual basis and the 2011 Output to Purpose Review (OPR) indicated that the project is on track to achieve the majority of the predetermined objectives.
Murray & Roberts CSI actively engages all project partners around issues such as sustainability and replication and are happy to report that the North West Department of Education is committed to adopting and replicating some aspects of the Systemic School Improvement model.
Science Education Resource Initiative (SERI)
SERI is located at the COSAT (Centre of Science & Technology) campus in Khayelitsha. COSAT is a project of the Western Cape Education Department and recruits grade 9 learners with academic potential to enroll at COSAT for grade 10, 11 and 12.
SERI has partnered with COSAT in terms of providing bridging programmes for learners in grades 8 and 9, in order to improve their chances of being selected to attend COSAT. Murray & Roberts funds SERI’s Fun’ulwazi programme, which provides extensive tutoring in English, Mathematics and Science, to ensure that learners entering COSAT in grade 10 are able to cope with the stringent academic requirements within the school. SERI is essentially the support arm of COSAT, raising funds for and managing enrichment activities and programmes at COSAT.
At the end of 2011, COSAT was identified as the sixth-best performing school in terms of their math’s and science results in the Western Cape. The top 10 list include independent schools as well as former model C schools and COSAT was particularly honoured given its ‘no-fee’ status and the fact that the school serves the poorest of the poor. Murray & Roberts is very proud of the partnership with SERI and the recent achievements demonstrate that the Fun’ulwazi programme is an effective feeder programme to COSAT.
Numeracy & Literacy in Early Childhood Development (ECD): R650 000
Early Childhood Development (ECD) has come to be regarded as critical for establishing the foundation for academic success in schools for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Global institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank advocate ECD as a significant poverty alleviation and developmental tool. For the period under review, Murray & Roberts funded 2 ECD projects. The CSI Committee resolved to expand the reach of our ECD funding to areas where Murray & Roberts had no previous presence. The projects funded during FY 2011/12 are:
Training Resources in Early Childhood Education (TREE)
TREE is recognized as a leading ECD training provider in South Africa and they work in remote villages and slum areas in the city centre in Kwa Zulu Natal. In 2012, Murray & Roberts funded a demonstration project that focuses on creating 15 Centers of Excellence and also establishing mobile ECD activities, linked to these 15 Centers. The funding has been allocated to support ECD practitioner training at NQF level 1 and 4, classroom observations, field visits and ECD forum meetings.
Bitou 10 Foundation (B10F)
The B10F is working in partnership with the Western Cape Education Department to implement a Grade R learner readiness intervention. One of the outcomes of this multi-stakeholder project is development and adoption of standardized school-readiness criteria in order to facilitate equal access to primary schools. Funding from Murray & Roberts in 2012 supported the establishment of an education forum within the Bitou region, the assessment of existing curriculum, the training of grade R educators across 12 community based crèches and the development of draft school-readiness criteria. The learning readiness intervention is being implemented as a demonstration project and the outcomes will be documented and shared in order to promote best practice models for replication in other districts within the Western Cape. In addition to the Group’s CSI activities, the Murray & Roberts businesses undertake additional project specific socio-economic development initiatives to ensure broader socio-economic development in the communities within which the Group operates.
Mechanical Engineering Chairmanship
Murray & Roberts supports the Chair of Environmental Education at Rhodes University, a Chair of Mechanical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Chair in Collaborative Governance and Accountability at the University of South Africa, and is investigating a chair in construction management at the University of Stellenbosch.
Environmental Education (EE): R700 000
During 2012, Murray & Roberts partnered with two environment education organizations with the aim of supporting projects focused on raising environmental awareness within the school system.
Schools Environment Education Development (SEED)
Murray & Roberts has a long standing relationship with the SEED and in 2012 they funded their Outdoor Classroom - Living Laboratory project. The Outdoor Classroom serves as an experiential learning centre where learners and educators from Rocklands Primary and surrounding schools can interact with visible, real life environmental issues and experiments. The programme also includes curriculum focused activities and income generation activities. The Western Cape Education department will also use the Outdoor Classroom - Living Laboratory as a demonstration centre for training educators and documenting best practice in implementing practical environment education within schools.
National Environment Education Teacher Development programme (NEETD)
The second environment education programme being funded is the National Environment Education Teacher Development programme, being headed up by the Murray & Roberts Chair in Environment Education at Rhodes. The National Curriculum Policy Statement was officially changed in 2011, replacing the Outcomes Based Education (OBE) curriculum with the new Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). A large challenge that this created was the absence of quality environmental education content that could be integrated into all learning areas within the new curriculum. Murray & Roberts is funding the development of integrated environment education materials and these materials will be tested with a number of educators across several learning areas. The outcome of this project will be assessed in the second half of 2012 and Rhodes will advise if additional funding is required for revision, further materials development and educator training.
Discretionary projects: R1, 1 million
For the period under review, Murray & Roberts continued to support other projects such as the National Business Initiative, Business Against Crime and the South African Business Coalition against HIV and AIDS. While these projects are not directly related to the primary focus areas, partnerships with the aforementioned organizations ensures that Murray & Roberts also addresses pertinent issues such as violence, crime, employee wellness and the role of business in society.
Several Murray & Roberts business units also supported Arbor Day events across the country. Concor, Murray & Roberts Cementation, Murray & Roberts Projects, Tolcon and Union Carriage Wagon donated in excess of 100 trees to schools and communities around their operations.
Murray & Roberts Construction adopted the Lambano Sanctuary several years ago and has consistently supported the organization every year. Lambano provides care and support for children impacted by HIV. They provide residential care for 29 children infected with the HIV and AIDS. For the period under review, Murray & Roberts Construction donated R70 000 to the charity. The funds were raised through the annual Murray & Roberts Construction golf day, with 100% of the proceeds donated to Lambano.
Operating entities also made significant financial contributions to several projects during 2011/2012. The operating entities committed over R200 000 to support a range of activities in the communities where they were undertaking contract work. Activities included donations of building materials to schools, sponsoring local sporting teams and events, participating in golf days and contributing to local community development initiatives.
Child welfare fund
For over fifty years the aim of the Murray & Roberts child welfare fund has been and still is to support underprivileged children. The fund is an employee initiative, without the support or monthly pledge from employees the Murray & Roberts child welfare fund would not be able to continue its contribute to children organisations.
There is only one additional fund raising activity to supplement the income from employee debit orders i.e. the annual golf day which is well supported by Murray & Roberts companies, their associates, their clients and their suppliers.
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