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The Housing Development Agency (HDA) handed over much-needed school equipment to the newly opened Alfonso Arries Primary School in Chatty on 2 August 2012.

The Zanemvula project received a prize as part of the provincial leg of the Govan Mbeki Human Settlement Awards for Best Priority Project. According to Nicholas Tsewu, HDA Operations Manager for the Zanemvula Project, ‘the HDA is more than just about building houses. We are also committed to and are a part of the communities we service. The school was chosen as it’s situated in Chatty Extension 12, one of our greenfields projects, and the nearly 800 learners who attend the school all come from the beneficiary community.

"We feel it’s important to support youth development and education. We also see the school as a catalyst for social and economic change. It fits with the vision of the HDA to create integrated sustainable human settlements as this is the first social structure to open its doors in the area."

The award was handed over at a ceremony to mark the opening of the Agency’s new offices in Port Elizabeth.

Bruce Damons, the school principal, is thrilled with the donation. He says “this is the first school in the area and situated in one of the fastest growing development housing projects in Port Elizabeth. 80% of our learners rely on a social grant from government. It is a school where no-one is excluded because no school fees are charged. The Govan Mbeki award will ensure the school has much-needed equipment so that the 85 community members and parents who have signed up to volunteer can contribute effectively to the running of the school.”

According to Tsewu “The HDA is delighted that the Zanemvula won the award thereby giving us the opportunity to contribute to the community in general, and the new school in Chatty specifically. We are hopeful that this donation will go a long way towards our long-term goal of creating sustainable human settlements”.