My journey as a PfP partner

Lucky Maluleka, Commercial Manager, Multotec Manufacturing, shares his thoughts on the Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme. 

I would like to thank the Multotec Management team for inviting me to participate in the PFP programme. We partnered with Bree Primary School, situated in Mayfair, Johannesburg. The school has 951 learners, with approximately 50 learners per class and 31 educators. Mr. Mafemani Mabunda is the school principal and the PfP Coach is Nomfuzo Ntolosi. The aim of the programme is to foster a partnership between business and local communities, in this case Multotec and Bree Primary School.

This is a year-long engagement, with the following deliverables: to get the school principal to a space where he is more confident and energised to lead, together with his management team, in an aligned and cohesive manner. This should lead to an energised community of teachers and parents that are engaged. 

We identified several challenges that the school faces that could be incorporated into our partnership plan and we zoomed in on a few that will have a greater impact once resolved. Some of the major infrastructure challenges are referred to the Department of Basic Education for resolution. 

Courses, workshops & team-building

Multotec attended Partners for Possibility courses, workshops & team-buildingAs part of this intervention, we attended well-designed courses aimed at empowering us in our day-to-day activities and driving future change in schools.

The Time to Think course made me realise that most solutions are within each of us and, given the time to think, we can resolve most of them ourselves. The Flawless Consulting course helped in focusing discussions, enabling us to reach agreement on what’s required and how to measure deliverables. We also attended community-building workshops, where we learned how to get the right people to agree on a vision and hold each other accountable for what needs to be done.

We identified team-building as a required intervention to get the school principal and the school management team (SMT) on the same page. We held the first session in Johannesburg and saw most teachers and support staff in attendance.

Long-term goals

The second area of focus is the improvement of the reading skills of the school learners. Most of the learners and their parents do not use English as either their first or second language. This makes it difficult for learners to grasp command of the language and this, in turn, impairs their learning. To this end, the library is the focus area (acquisition of new books, arrangement of existing books, clean-up and restoration of the library facilities, as well as setting up schedules that will ensure that the library gets used by learners) together with improving conditions in the 2 Grade R classes. We also explored the design and set-up of grade-appropriate reading and storytelling sections. 

Another long-term plan was to assist the school in restoring the computer room, that has stayed dormant for many years, to prepare young minds for the 4th Industrial Revolution. 

On 20 June 2022, Multotec had an opportunity to host the penultimate community of practice (COP) meeting at the company’s auditorium in Spartan. School principals and other business partners from DBSA and Mimecast were treated to a factory tour. Most of the school principals in our circle had never been to a factory before; they thoroughly enjoyed the tour and were impressed by Multotec’s facilities, especially the auditorium.

Multotec had an opportunity to host the penultimate community of practice (COP) meeting at the company’s auditorium School principals and other business partners were treated to a Multotec factory tour.The team were impressed by Multotec’s facilities, especially the auditorium.

It is important that our partnership with community-based organisations remains intact and that we continue to offer mental tools to empower community-based structures to operate at higher levels. Such empowerment can sometimes cost a lot of money and time, but the returns are immeasurable.

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