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Lineo sweeps the board in school awards

Young South African Lineo Khabane has picked up the best overall performer award in English as a home language…

Lineo with members of her family.

…and for Afrikaans as an additional language, and for social sciences, and for natural sciences, and for creative arts, and for life orientation and for mathematics.

Thirteen-year-old Lineo stole the show at the presentation of excellence awards at Gateway Primary School in Musina, close to De Beers Group’s Venetia mine, by picking up all seven student prizes.

Josephine Pieters, Corporate Affairs Manager at the mine, congratulated Lineo and all the award recipients.

After the ceremony, Lineo said: “I expected it to happen because I worked very hard throughout the year. My preparations and hard work started during the first day when the schools opened in January.

“My best friends are my books, and I make sure that I give myself enough time to study. I feel very sad when one of my classmates performs better than me, and I had to make sure that I do my best to be on top. I will definitely keep the same pace when I go to high school next year.”

In her speech, Josephine said the mine would continue to support education in its labour-sending areas.

“Young people are at the heart of De Beers with 41 per cent of the Venetia mine workforce currently made up of youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years,” she said. “Our commitment to our young people is evidenced by the investment of R65 million into youth development over the last five years.

“This investment is made up of a range of innovative, sustainable and forward-thinking initiatives such as our youth development programme, job entry training, De Beers bursaries, apprenticeships and learnerships.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is support for education, not just financially as part of our social commitments but also through such efforts as motivational talks.”

De Beers Group has a groundbreaking partnership with the Limpopo Department Education Development Trust, in which Venetia mine has invested R29 million to build 12 schools since 2006. 

“We call this initiative the Rural Schools Development Programme,” Josephine said. “All of these schools are located in rural areas found on the doorstep of our operation – in areas such as Senwabarwana Village, Wegdraai Village and Musina.”

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