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Free State Business 2022

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Credit: Unsplash accurate protein structure prediction. Their results, which were reached by using machine-learning, were published in the scientific journal, Science. The findings could change the way many things are done, including in molecular replacement and managing diseases. Having insight into the dimensional structure of a protein has the potential to enable more advanced drug discovery. The Central University of Technology (CUT) has four faculties: Engineering, Built Environment and Information and Technology, Health and Environmental Sciences, Humanities and Management Sciences. Researchers at units such as the Centre for Community, Environmental and Industrial Development tackle important regional issues. The CUT has started training programmes in artificial intelligence, 3D cloud computing and data screening. The first phase of a major upgrade of the Hotel School of the CUT is complete. The new glass roof in the school’s courtyard was designed by Hennie Lambrechts Architects of Bloemfontein. Upgrades were also completed to the boardroom and other facilities. Future phases will see the main kitchen and training ONLINE RESOURCES Central University of Technology: www.cut.ac.za Flavius Mareka TVET College: www.flaviusmareka.net Free State Department of Education: www.education.fs.gov.za University of the Free State: www.ufs.ac.za facilities upgraded and the conversion of the lounge service area as a satellite kitchen for a new solarium as café venue. There are 11 new schools under construction in the province in all districts. The Free State has 39 farm schools but the aim is to increase this number to make it possible for children from rural areas to have a better chance of getting good education. Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) handed over its 16th sponsored ICT and Science laboratory in 2020 to Akademia High School, Brandfort. The donation forms part of a five-year “Back to School” CSI initiative which has seen ATNS sponsor laboratories across the country to schools from impoverished communities. ■ FREE STATE BUSINESS 2022 46

FOCUS Voorspoed hands over an old-age facility The community of Ngwathe Local Municipality benefits from Building Forever strategy. De Beers Group’s Voorspoed Mine has handed over a R5-million old-age facility, in partnership with Ngwathe Local Municipality, to Ratang Maqheku Centre for the Aged in Parys. The project forms part of Voorspoed Mine’s Social and Labour Plan, specifically its Community Development Programme, which aims to uplift communities of the Free State Province and develop working partnerships to enhance and influence economic and social factors. Through its Building Forever strategy, De Beers Group is helping communities to access opportunities and thrive with the aim of leaving a positive and lasting legacy for mining communities to enjoy sustainable livelihoods beyond the life of its operations. Ratang Maqheku Centre previously operated from three rented backyard rooms in Tumahole, Parys. The Centre caters for 30 elderly people daily, and provides food, primary healthcare services and exercise, as well as access to the local library to improve their literacy and writing skills. The new 470m² facility, which was built by local black female-owned company Tshepo ya Rona, comprises two bedrooms, sickbay, workshop area, rest area, consultation room, three offices, dining area, kitchen with a pantry and laundry room, two ablution facilities as well as a reception and waiting area. Ratang Maqheku also received a brand-new 22-seater vehicle to transport the elderly to and from the centre. Speaking at the handover ceremony, Josephine Pieters, De Beers Social Impact Manager, said, “We are living in unprecedented times whereby we have to create a safe haven for our senior citizens to shield them from a society that should be protecting them. We are very grateful to Ratang Maqheku’s management team. We acknowledge their strength, commitment and perseverance – it is through their determination that this project Exec. Mayor Joey Mochela, DMRE Regional Manager, Kalipa Kewuti and the Senior Impact Manager Josephine Pieters at the launch of the Old age Day Care is what it is today. Coming together and fighting against the social ills that our elders face on a daily basis and creating a refuge for them, is really commendable. As De Beers Group, we are proud to be part of creating a future that is safer, fairer and healthier for our elderly.” Executive Mayor Councillor Joey Mochela thanked Voorspoed Mine for being a valuable stakeholder in the municipality. “We were sad to hear that Voorspoed Mine was closing down because we had built such a remarkable and strong partnership with them. However, we have been pleasantly surprised by how they have continued to support us, and this has brought hope to us and the people of Ngwathe,” said Cllr Mochela. Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Regional Manager, Kapila Kewuti, thanked Voorspoed Mine for fulfilling its Social Labour Plans during its Care and Maintenance stage. “As the regulator, it is beautiful to witness the support that De Beers continues to provide to our communities. We are proud of the work they have been able to do alongside our municipalities, community leaders and various partners in providing necessary support to the vulnerable members of our society,” said Kewuti. ■ 47 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2022

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